Editorial Feature

Thulium YAG Lasers - Properties and Applications

Thulium-yttrium aluminum garnet (Tm:YAG) laser is used as a suitable means to produce high power laser emission from the 3F43F6 transition. It operates in a continuous wave mode at a wavelength of 2010 nm, and has high absorption characteristics at this wavelength. As a result, it is widely used for surgical cutting and coagulation applications.

The quantum efficiency of Tm:YAG laser can be increased through Tm-Tm ion cross relaxation, where an excited thulium in the 3H4 state decomposes to 3F4 state. Thus, Tm:YAG laser exhibits narrow broadened absorption features when cooled at cryogenic temperatures. This property has been proved to have significant importance in high time-bandwidth product signal processing applications, and real-time broad-band spectral analysis for electronic applications.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Solid
Pump source Laser diode
Operating wavelength 2 µm

Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical and Chemical Properties
Crystal structure Cubic
Melting point 1965°C
Mohs hardness 8.25
Thermal conductivity 11.2 W/mK
Specific heat capacity 0.59 J/gK
Young's modulus 335 GPa


The Tm:YAG laser is currently being applied in urology for resection of the prostrate. The output power of the Tm:YAG laser can be steadily increased to enhance tissue cutting and hemostasis without any mechanical damage. The laser is also used in photodynamic therapy for treating bladder and prostrate cancer.

It is also used in LIDAR, high time-bandwidth product signal processing, military, meteorology and other laser pumping applications.



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