Neodymium-doped yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd:YLF) is the most common lasing medium for diode-pumped and arc lamp-pumped solid-state lasers. It is birefringent in nature, and its laser transitions occur at 1047 and 1053 nm. Nd:YLF crystal, is very brittle, slightly soluble in water and has a tendency to fracture easily.
Nd:YLF laser has an ability to yield higher pulse energies than Nd:YAG laser for repetition rates of a few kHz. It is mainly used in Q-switched systems owing to its relatively long fluorescence lifetime. As with Nd:YAG lasers, Q-switched Nd:YLF facilitates harmonic generation to produce shorter wavelengths. Nd:YLF lasers can be lamp-pumped or diode-pumped. When compared to Nd:YAG laser, Nd:YLF laser has low thermal conductivity. However, it exhibits weak thermal distortions to achieve high beam quality.
Other significant properties of Nd:YLF laser include:
- Anisotropic thermal expansion
- Longer upper-state lifetime
- High UV transparency
- Low fracture resistance.
Pumping ultrafast Ti:Sapphire chirped-pulse amplifiers is one of the most common applications of Nd:YLF laser.
||Flashlamp, laser diode
Physical and Chemical Properties
|Physical and Chemical Properties
|Specific heat capacity (@25oC)
|Modulus of elasticity
Nd:YLF lasers are suitable for providing pump light to operate other lasers such as the Ti:Sapphire pulsed lasers which are the most preferred illumination source in multiphoton imaging techniques of fluorescence microscopy. It has also been used by some researchers in all-solid-state multiphoton systems, with the help of three-photon excitation mechanism.
Other suitable applications of Nd:YLF lasers include:
- Particle image velocimetry
- Applications that require high pulse energies.
Sources and Further Reading