Encyclopedia … combined with a great Buyer's Guide!

Sponsoring this encyclopedia:     and others

Ultraviolet Lasers

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

More general terms: lasers

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 ultraviolet 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. Some examples:

Ultraviolet lasers need to be made with special ultraviolet optics, having a high optical quality and (particularly for pulsed lasers) a high resistance to UV light. In some cases, the lifetime of a UV laser is limited by the lifetime of the used optical elements such as laser mirrors.

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:

  • Pulsed high-power ultraviolet lasers can be used for efficient cutting and drilling of small holes in a variety of materials, including materials which are transparent to visible light.
  • Continuous-wave UV sources are required for micro-lithography, e.g. in the context of semiconductor chip manufacturing.
  • Both continuous-wave and pulsed UV lasers are used for fabricating fiber Bragg gratings.
  • Some methods of eye surgery, in particular refractive laser eye surgery of the cornea in the form of LASIK, require UV (sometimes even deep-UV) laser sources.

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.


The RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains 81 suppliers for ultraviolet lasers. Among them:

Questions and Comments from Users

Here you can submit questions and comments. As far as they get accepted by the author, they will appear above this paragraph together with the author’s answer. The author will decide on acceptance based on certain criteria. Essentially, the issue must be of sufficiently broad interest.

Please do not enter personal data here; we would otherwise delete it soon. (See also our privacy declaration.) If you wish to receive personal feedback or consultancy from the author, please contact him e.g. via e-mail.

Your question or comment:

Spam check:

  (Please enter the sum of thirteen and three in the form of digits!)

By submitting the information, you give your consent to the potential publication of your inputs on our website according to our rules. (If you later retract your consent, we will delete those inputs.) As your inputs are first reviewed by the author, they may be published with some delay.


[1]H. Furumoto and H. Ceccon, “Ultraviolet organic liquid lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 6 (5), 262 (1970), doi:10.1109/JQE.1970.1076451
[2]C. Rhodes, “Review of ultraviolet lasers”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 9 (6), 647 (1973), doi:10.1109/JQE.1973.1077652
[3]D. J. Ehrlich et al., “Optically pumped Ce:LaF3 laser at 286 nm”, Opt. Lett. 5 (8), 339 (1980), doi:10.1364/OL.5.000339
 [4]R. W. Waynant and P. H. Klein, “Vacuum ultraviolet laser emission from Nd3+:LaF3”, Appl. Phys. Lett. 46, 14 (1985), doi:10.1063/1.95833
[5]Y. Taira, “High-power continuous-wave ultraviolet generation by frequency doubling of an argon laser”, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 31, L682 (1992), doi:10.1143/JJAP.31.L682
[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), doi:10.1364/OL.18.001517
 [7]J. F. Pinto et al., “Tunable solid-state laser action in Ce3+:LiSrAlF6”, Electron. Lett. 30, 240 (1994), doi:10.1049/el:19940158
[8]S. M. Hooker and C. E. Webb, “Progress in vacuum ultraviolet lasers”, Prog. Quantum Electron. 18 (3), 227 (1994), doi:10.1016/0079-6727(94)90002-7
[9]D. S. Funk and J. G. Eden, “Glass-fiber lasers in the ultraviolet and visible”, J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 1 (3), 784 (1995), doi:10.1109/2944.473660
[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), doi:10.1364/OL.25.000058
[11]C. Gohle et al., “A frequency comb in the extreme ultraviolet”, Nature 436, 234 (2005), doi:10.1038/nature03851
[12]H. Liu et al., “Broadly tunable ultraviolet miniature cerium-doped LiLuF lasers”, Opt. Express 16 (3), 2226 (2008), doi:10.1364/OE.16.002226
[13]E. Granados et al., “Mode-locked deep ultraviolet Ce:LiCAF laser”, Opt. Lett. 34 (11), 1660 (2009), doi:10.1364/OL.34.001660
[14]J. Rothhardt et al., “100 W average power femtosecond laser at 343 nm”, Opt. Lett. 41 (8), 1885 (2016), doi:10.1364/OL.41.001885
[15]U. Eismann et al., “Active and passive stabilization of a high-power UV frequency-doubled diode laser”, arXiv:1606.07670v1 (2016)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: ultraviolet light, lasers, excimer lasers, free electron lasers, blue lasers, laser safety
and other articles in the category lasers


If you like this page, please share the link with your friends and colleagues, e.g. via social media:

These sharing buttons are implemented in a privacy-friendly way!