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Chapter 2:
Solid State Laser Materials
Solid state lasers are widely used in medicine, industry, scientific research, spec-troscopy, and remote sensing applications. They also comprise a dominant part of the overall laser market. Solid state lasers possess the following unique characteristics: - Reliability and robustness - High level of safety - User-friendly - Maintenance-free - Low-cost performance, high-volume production - Compact size - Wide range of wavelength selection A solid state laser is an active solid state material that under certain conditions can emit coherent radiation. It is composed of an ion - €”either rare earth or transition metal - €”and a solid host. The host can be crystals, disordered or amorphous materials (such as glass), glass ceramic (which is a combination of crystalline-ordered structure and glassy phases disordered structure), or mixed crystals. - Optical properties - Lasing wavelength - Spectral bandwidth - Fluorescence lifetime - Emission and absorption cross sections
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