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Nd : YAG laser [Neodymium (i.e.

, Nd): Ytterium Aluminium Garnet


(i.e., Y3Al5O12)]

It is one of the most popular type of solid state laser.


In this laser, four level pumping scheme is used to achieve
population inversion.
Ytterium Aluminium Garnet (i.e., Y3Al5O12) commonly called as
YAG is an isotropic crystal and some of the Y3+ ions in the crystals
are replaced by Nd3+ ions.
The doping concentration of Nd3+ ions is typically of the order of
0.725% by weight.
In this laser, Ytterium Aluminium Garnet is just a host lattice only
and in it Nd3+ ions acts as the active center which are responsible for
the lasing action.
In this laser, the pumping is achieved by optical mean.

Construction of Nd : YAG laser: Fig. shows the main


parts of the laser.
In this laser, Nd: YAG crystal rod along with an krypton arc
lamp is housed inside a ellipsoidal cylindrical reflectors
arrangement.
The use of these reflectors is to focus the maximum light
on Nd: YAG crystal rod which comes from the arc lamp.
The length of the Nd: YAG crystal rod is 10cm and the
diameter is 12mm.
A pair of mirrors, one is fully reflecting and the other is
partially transparent, are used as an optical resonator cavity
which are shown in the figure.

Construction of Nd:YAG laser: Fig. shows the main parts


of the laser.

Working:
Figure shows the energy level diagram of Nd3+ ions in YAG crystal. How ever the energy levels
are split and the structure is complex, it is essentially a four level pumping system with the
terminal laser level (E2) sufficiently far removed from the ground level such that (E2-E1)>KBT.
The pumping of the Nd3+ ions to upper level is done by the krypton lamp. The optical pumping
with light of wavelength range to 5000 to 8000 angstrom excite the ground state Nd3+ ions to
the multiple energy level at E4. Now the excited Nd3+ ions in E4 , quickly make downwards
transition while giving a non-radiative spontaneous emission and get populate in the
metastable state (E3) and rapidly a population inversion is achieved with respect to the
terminal energy level (E2) which is sparsely populated with the Nd3+ ions due to (E2-E1)>KBT.
Now an available chance photo incident on metastable state and trigger the stimulated
emissions and a highly coherent laser emission occurs in infrared (IR) region at a wavelength of
about 1060 nm. As the laser is a four level laser, the laser emission achieved is in a continuous
wave mode.

Applications of Nd:YAG laser: It is used in resister trimming, mechanical operations like


welding, hole drilling etc. and are also used in medical surgery.

Energy level and transitions in a Nd: YAG laser:

Metastable state

Terminal level
Ground state

He: Ne Laser:
It is one of the most popular type of gas laser.
In this laser, four level pumping scheme is used to achieve
population inversion.
Neon atoms are the active centers and have suitable energy for laser
transition. While helium atoms helps in exciting neon atoms.
In gas laser, the energy levels of atoms involved in the lasing
process are narrow and as such require sources with sharp
wavelength to excite atoms. Hence finding an suitable optical
pumping source is a problem. Therefore in Gas lasers (e.g., He: Ne
lasers) method of exciting active medium is by passing an electric
discharge through the gas.
Electron present in the discharge transfer energy to atoms in the
laser gas by collision.

Construction of He : Ne laser: Fig. shows the main parts


of the laser.
It consist of a long discharge tube filled with helium and
neon gases in the ratio of 10:1.
Electrodes (connected to high voltage power supply of
10KV) are provided in the discharge tube to produce
electric discharge in the gas.
The tube is hermetically sealed by inclined windows
arranged at its two ends.
On the axis of the tube, two mirrors are arranged externally
which form the optical resonator cavity and the distance
between the mirror is adjusted to be m/2 such that the
resonator supports the standing wave pattern.

Construction of He : Ne laser: Fig. shows the main parts


of the laser.

He: Ne Gases mixture inside the tube

Fully reflecting
Partially Transparent

Working: Figure shows the energy level diagram of He: Ne laser. Only the relevant
energy levels are shown here.
When a high voltage of 10 kV is applied in between the electrodes, an electric discharge
occurs in the tube and the energetic electrons through collision excite the helium atoms to its
metastable state of energy of 20.61 eV above the ground level.
The excited helium atom can not return to the ground level through spontaneous emission.
However helium return to the ground level by transferring its excess energy to neon atom by
collision (i.e., by resonant energy transfer ). Hence resonance transfer of energy occurs
between the excited helium atom and the ground level neon atom.
The kinetic energy of the helium atoms provides the additional 0.05eV required for
excitation of the neon atoms. Thus helium atoms drops to the ground level after exciting the
neon atoms and this is the pumping mechanism in He: Ne laser.
After excitation of neon atoms in to its metastable state (energy = 20.66 eV), readily a
population inversion is achieved with respect to the terminal energy level (energy = 18.7 eV)
because the terminal level is sparsely populate at ordinary temperature.
Now a random photon emitted spontaneously trigger the stimulated emission and lasing
occurs and during this a laser beam of red color of wavelength of 632.8 nm comes out as a
continuous wave.
After this a non-radiative transition occur during the spontaneous emission in between
energy levels of 18.7 eV and 16.7 eV.
And finally neon atoms come to the ground level from the energy level of 16.7 eV and this
transition is due to the collision of neon atoms with the walls of the narrow tube and the
result is generation of heat.

Energy levels and transitions in a He: Ne laser:


Energy transfer by collision elevates
neon atoms into metastable state

Metastable state
of He atoms
Terminal level
Helium is pumped
up to excited states
by electrical
discharge

18.7eV

16.7eV

Semiconductor diode laser


It is a specially fabricated pn junction device, which emits coherent
light when it is forward biased.
It is made up of gallium arsenide (GaAs) which emits light in the
near IR region.
Now pn junction lasers are made to emits light in almost anywhere
in the spectrum from UV to IR.
In semiconductors, electrons and holes are distributed in the
respective energy bands. Therefore, laser action in semiconductors
involve bands rather than discrete energy levels.
In semiconductors, electrons are not associated with specific atoms
but are injected into the conduction band from the external circuit.
Therefore, conduction band play the role of excited level while the
valence band play the role of ground level.
Population inversion requires the presence of a large concentration
of electrons in conduction band and a large concentration of holes in
valence band.

Population inversion requires the presence of a large concentration


of electrons in conduction band and a large concentration of holes in
valence band.
Hence a to achieve population inversion, a semiconductor in the
form of pn junction diode is formed from the heavily doped n-type
and p-type semiconductors.

Construction of semiconductor pn junction diode laser:


Fig. shows the main parts of the laser.
It consist of a heavily doped n-type GaAs region at the
bottom and a p-type GaAs region on the top of it.
The laser diode is very small in size typically 500m
100m 100m.
The top and bottom faces are metalize to pass the current
through the diode.
The front and the rear faces are polished parallel to each
other and perpendicular the junctions plane which works
as optical resonator cavity.
The remaining two sides are roughened to eliminate the
lasing action in that direction.

Construction of semiconductor pn junction diode laser:


Fig. shows the main parts of the laser.

Construction of semiconductor pn junction diode laser:


Fig. shows the main parts of the laser.

Working of semiconductor laser diode:


Figure Shows the energy band diagram of the heabily doped pn juntion diode.
Due to very high doping both donor levels in n-type GaAs and acceptors levels in p-type
GaAs becomes broadened and extend into the conduction band and valance band
respectively.
When the junction is forward biased, electrons and holes are injected into the junction region
in high concentration. Means carries are pumped by the dc voltage source provided
externally.
At low forward current, the electrons and holes recombination causes spontaneous emission
of photons and the junction acts as an LED as shown in the fig.
However, when the current reaches a threshold value as shown in the fig. , the carrier
concentration in the junction region will rise to a very high value. As a result, a high
population of electrons in conduction band is achieved with respect to the valance band (As
holes represents the absence of electrons in valence band) and a condition of population
inversion is attained in the narrow junction region.
The narrow zone in which population inversion occurs is called an inversion region or
action region.
Now the spontaneous photons propagating in the junction plane stimulate the conduction
electrons to jump into the vacant states of valence band and this stimulated electron hole
recombination produces coherent radiation.
GaAs laser emits light at a wavelength of 900nm in IR region.

Fig. (a) Heavily doped pn junction without bias (b) Heavily doped pn junction under
forward bias above threshold

Due to stimulated
emission

Non coherent light

Holography

Holography: Invented by Dennis Gobor in 1948


It is a two-step lens less imaging process and is a new technique of
photography of objects which is known as wavefront
reconstruction, or holography.
Holography a combination of two Greek words: Holos ( means:
Whole) graphein ( meand: To write). Means writing complete
image.
Holography is actually a recording of interference pattern formed
between two beams of coherent light coming from the same source.
In it, both the amplitude and the phase component of the light wave
are recorded on a light sensitive medium such as a photographic
plate ( this recording is known as hologram).
Images formed by the holography has a three dimensional form and
if the images are seen at different angels, the images changes in
appearance..
In holography, highly intense coherent light is required i.e., laser.

Working principle of Holography:


It is a two-step lens less imaging process:
(a) The first step is the recording of hologram where the object
is transformed into a photographic record (i.e., hologram).
(b) The second step is the reconstruction in which the
hologram is transformed into the image.
Holography is the lens less photography in which hologram is a
result of the interference pattern occurring between the coherent
light (laser) reflected from an object and finally combining at the
film with the light from a coherent reference beam of laser.
Here both beam of lasers are obtained by splitting the light from the
same laser source.
Hologram actually contains both the information of an object i.e.,
amplitude and the phase and the image formed is a 3D image.

Working principle of Holography:


Construction of the hologram:

Working principle of Holography:


Construction of the hologram:

Working principle of Holography:


Construction of the hologram:

To construct the hologram, a laser beam is divided into two beam, namely a reference beam and an object beam by
the beam splitter.
Object beam directly illuminate the object, while the reference beam, after being reflected from the mirror is
collected on the photographic plate. Thus plate is simultaneously illuminated by both beams.
These coherent sources make interference and gives complicated interference patterns on the photographic plate.
The developed negative of the interference fringe pattern is called a hologram.
This hologram carried both the intensity and the relative phase of the light waves at each point.

Holography experiment on optical bench:


Reconstruction of the hologram

First order

Zero order

First order

Reconstruction of the hologram:


In it, hologram is illuminated by a parallel beam of light, called the
reconstruction beam, from the laser source.
Most of the light passes straight through, but the complex of fine
fringes acts as an elaborated diffraction grating.
Light is diffracted from this grating and two images: a virtual and a
real image ate produced.
Virtual image is obtained at the original position of the object where
the hologram was constructed and the real image can be
photographed without using a lens.
The virtual image appears in full three dimension.
Observer can move to different positions and look around the image
to the same extent that he would have been able to see the real
object directly looking at it.

Holography experiment on optical bench:

Properties of a hologram:
Each part of the hologram contains the information about the entire object means each
part of the hologram would reconstruct the whole object.
Hologram is a reliable medium of data storage, because a small part of hologram can
reconstruct the entire image.
Information holding capacity of a hologram is extremely very high. For example the
hologram of size of 6 mm 9 mm can hold the information of one printed page.
The hologram image is in 3 dimension.
On the hologram the information is recorded in the form of interference pattern.