Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

VLib
Virtual
Library
Sponsorship opportunity: support this popular resource, which serves the whole photonics community, and get recognition!

Green Lasers

Definition: lasers emitting in the green spectral region

German: grüne Laser

Category: lasers

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

Author:

This article concerns lasers emitting in the green spectral region, i.e., with a wavelength roughly around 510–570 nm. The choice of laser gain media for such wavelengths is limited, and the performance achievable is typically not as good as e.g. in the infrared spectral region. Nevertheless, green-emitting lasers of various kinds belong to the most often used visible lasers. Some of them are based on nonlinear frequency conversion, namely frequency doubling.

Types of Green Lasers

There are many types of green lasers, which differ substantially e.g. in terms of output power, pulse format and cost:

  • Argon ion lasers, based on amplification in an argon plasma (made with an electrical discharge), are fairly powerful light sources for various wavelengths. The highest power can be achieved in green light at 514.5 nm. It can exceed 20 W, but the power efficiency of such lasers is very poor, so that tens of kilowatts of electric power are required for multi-watt green output, and the cooling system has corresponding dimensions. There are smaller tubes for air-cooled argon lasers, requiring hundreds of watts for generating some tens of milliwatts. The beam quality can be close to diffraction-limited.
  • Helium–neon lasers are most well known as red lasers, but they can also be made to emit a few milliwatts at 543.5 nm.
  • Copper vapor lasers can emit relatively high powers at 510.6 nm. They are based on a pulsed discharge in copper vapor and emit nanosecond pulses.
  • Green laser diodes (or other green semiconductor lasers) are difficult to produce – even more difficult than blue ones. They can emit only a few milliwatts and have relatively short lifetimes, compared with other laser diodes [5]. However, there has been encouraging progress recently [10, 11].
  • Erbium-doped upconversion lasers based on erbium-doped fibers or bulk crystals can emit around 550 nm, typically with some tens of milliwatts of output power and with high beam quality.
  • Praseodymium-doped lasers can emit green light (e.g., Pr3+:YLF at 523 nm), apart from light at various other wavelength. They can be pumped with blue light from laser diodes, for example.
VERDI green laser
Figure 1: Photograph of the VERDI green laser from Coherent. This device contains a diode-pumped vanadate laser with intracavity frequency doubling. The image was kindly provided by Coherent.

Applications

Green lasers are used e.g. as laser pointers, for laser projection displays (as part of RGB sources), for printing, in interferometers, bioinstrumentation, medical scanning, and for pumping of solid-state lasers (e.g. titanium–sapphire lasers). In laser material processing, green lasers (when compared with near-infrared lasers) can bring benefits via a much higher absorption coefficient e.g. in copper, gold, or silicon.

Suppliers

The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 113 suppliers for green lasers. Among them:

Bibliography

[1]A. J. Silversmith et al., “Green infrared-pumped erbium upconversion laser”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 51, 1977 (1987)
[2]F. Tong et al., “551 nm diode-laser-pumped upconversion laser”, Electron. Lett. 25, 1389 (1989)
[3]T. Hebert et al., “Blue and green CW upconversion lasing in Er:YLiF4”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 57, 1727 (1990)
[4]T. J. Whitley et al., “Upconversion pumped green lasing in erbium doped fluorozirconate fibre”, Electron. Lett. 27 (20), 1785 (1991)
[5]E. Kato et al., “Significant progress in II-VI blue-green laser diode lifetime”, Electron. Lett. 34, 282 (1998)
[6]L. McDonagh and R. Wallenstein, “Low-noise 62 W CW intracavity-doubled TEM00 Nd:YVO4 green laser pumped at 888 nm”, Opt. Lett. 32 (7), 802 (2007)
[7]C. Stolzenburg et al., “Cavity-dumped intracavity-frequency-doubled Yb:YAG thin-disk laser with 100 W average power”, Opt. Lett. 32 (9), 1123 (2007)
[8]J.-Y. Kim et al., “Highly efficient green VECSEL with intra-cavity diamond heat spreader”, Electron. Lett. 43 (2), 105 (2007)
[9]O. B. Jensen et al., “1.5 W green light generation by single-pass second harmonic generation of a single-frequency tapered diode laser”, Opt. Express 17 (8), 6532 (2009)
[10]T. Miyoshi et al., “510–515 nm InGaN-based green laser diodes on c-plane GaN substrate”, Appl. Phys. Express 2, 062201 (2009)
[11]H. Ohta et al., “Future of group-III nitride semiconductor green laser diodes”, J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27 (11), B45 (2010)
[12]T. Meier et al., “Continuous-wave single-frequency 532 nm laser source emitting 130 W into the fundamental transversal mode”, Opt. Lett. 35 (22), 3742 (2010)
[13]R. Cieslak and W. A. Clarkson, “Internal resonantly enhanced frequency doubling of continuous-wave fiber lasers”, Opt. Lett. 36 (10), 1896 (2011)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: lasers, laser diodes, frequency doubling, intracavity frequency doubling, blue lasers, red lasers, yellow and orange lasers, visible lasers, titanium–sapphire lasers, Spotlight article 2006-12-16, Spotlight article 2009-04-06, Spotlight article 2009-04-17
and other articles in the category lasers

How do you rate this article?

Click here to send us your feedback!

Your general impression: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Technical quality: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Usefulness: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Readability: don't know poor satisfactory good excellent
Comments:

Found any errors? Suggestions for improvements? Do you know a better web page on this topic?

Spam protection: (enter the value of 5 + 8 in this field!)

If you want a response, you may leave your e-mail address in the comments field, or directly send an e-mail.

If you enter any personal data, this implies that you agree with storing it; we will use it only for the purpose of improving our website and possibly giving you a response; see also our declaration of data privacy.

If you like our website, you may also want to get our newsletters!

If you like this article, share it with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

arrow