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Ultraviolet Lasers

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Ask RP Photonics for advice e.g. on nonlinear frequency conversion for UV generation. RP Photonics has powerful software for example for calculating all phase-matching options with various nonlinear crystal materials.

Definition: lasers (or other laser-based light sources) generating ultraviolet light

German: ultraviolette Laser

Category: lasers

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

The technology of lasers for the generation of ultraviolet light involves a number of challenges:

Nevertheless, there are various kinds of lasers which can directly generate ultraviolet light:

Apart from real lasers, there are ultraviolet laser sources based on a laser with a longer wavelength (in the visible or near-infrared spectral region) and one or several nonlinear crystals for nonlinear frequency conversion. For example, the wavelength of 355 nm can be generated by frequency tripling the output of a 1064-nm Nd:YAG or Nd:YVO4 laser, and 266-nm light is obtained with two subsequent frequency doublers, which in effect quadruple the laser frequency.

For the extreme ultraviolet region, there are sources based on high harmonic generation. Such sources can reach wavelengths down to a few nanometers while still having a table-top format. The average output powers, however, are fairly low.


Ultraviolet lasers find various applications:

Ultraviolet laser sources involve some special safety hazards, mostly related to the risks of eye damage and causing skin cancer. The article on laser safety gives some details.


[1]H. Furumoto and H. Ceccon, “Ultraviolet organic liquid lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 6 (5), 262 (1970)
[2]C. Rhodes, “Review of ultraviolet lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 9 (6), 647 (1973)
[3]D. J. Ehrlich et al., “Optically pumped Ce:LaF3 laser at 286 nm”, Opt. Lett. 5 (8), 339 (1980)
 [4]R. W. Waynant and P. H. Klein, “Vacuum ultraviolet laser emission from Nd3+:LaF3”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 46, 14 (1985)
[5]Y. Taira, “High-power continuous-wave ultraviolet generation by frequency doubling of an argon laser”, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 31, L682 (1992)
[6]S. C. Tidwell et al., “Efficient high-power UV generation by use of a resonant ring driven by a CW mode-locked IR laser”, Opt. Lett. 18 (18), 1517 (1993)
 [7]J. F. Pinto et al., “Tunable solid-state laser action in Ce3+:LiSrAlF6”, Electron. Lett. 30, 240 (1994)
[8]S. M. Hooker and C. E. Webb, “Progress in vacuum ultraviolet lasers”, Prog. Quantum Electron. 18 (3), 227 (1994)
[9]D. S. Funk and J. G. Eden, “Glass-fiber lasers in the ultraviolet and visible”, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 1 (3), 784 (1995)
[10]T. Kojima et al., “20-W ultraviolet-beam generation by fourth-harmonic generation of an all-solid-state laser”, Opt. Lett. 25 (1), 58 (2000)
[11]C. Gohle et al., “A frequency comb in the extreme ultraviolet”, Nature 436, 234 (2005)
[12]H. Liu et al., “Broadly tunable ultraviolet miniature cerium-doped LiLuF lasers”, Opt. Express 16 (3), 2226 (2008)
[13]E. Granados et al., “Mode-locked deep ultraviolet Ce:LiCAF laser”, Opt. Lett. 34 (11), 1660 (2009)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: ultraviolet light, lasers, excimer lasers, free electron lasers, blue lasers, laser safety

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