Editorial Feature

Neodymium Glass Lasers - Properties and Applications

Neodymium glass (Nd:Glass) lasers are isotropic, and can be doped at high concentrations with excellent uniformity. All these properties distinguish Nd:glass lasers from other solid-state lasers. In addition, these lasers can be made into various sizes and shapes, from fibers to rods and disks. However, oxide glasses such as SiO2 and P2O5 are the most common optical glasses that exhibit lasing action.

The thermal conductivity of Nd:glass laser is lower than that of crystal laser. Also, Nd:glass laser has wide emission lines than that of crystal laser, and hence the laser threshold value of amplification is significantly increased. The tuning range of the Nd:glass laser can be increased by the addition of a diffraction grating to the resonator of Nd:glass laser.

This laser is more suitable for high-energy pulsed operation owing to their large size, flexibility in their physical parameters and wide fluorescent line.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Solid
Pump source Flashlamp, laser diode
Operating Wavelengths
~1.062 µm for silicate glasses
~1.054 µm for phosphate glasses

Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical and Chemical Properties
Specific heat capacity 0.75 J/cm3ºC
Knoop hardness 650 kg/cm2
Thermal conductivity 5.53 W/mK
Young's modulus 8570 kg/mm2

Applications

Nd:glass lasers are commonly used in extremely high power, high energy multiple beam systems for inertial confinement fusion. Generally, these lasers are frequency tripled to the third harmonic at 351 nm in laser fusion devices.

Some of the other applications of Nd:glass lasers include:

  • Optical communication
  • Material processing
  • Medicine
  • Range finders

Sources and Further Reading

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