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Advanced Laser Systems and Technology

  • Number of credits 7.5 credits

About the course

After providing a short review of the basics of laser action, the course covers different types of continuous wave and pulsed lasers, including semiconductor, fiber, and solid state lasers, operating in a wide range of wavelengths, from the X-ray region through the visible to the mid-infrared range, with a variety of properties, from extremely narrow-linewidth lasers, via multimode lasers and frequency combs, to ultrashort pulsed high-power sources. Methods for controlling the laser structure, line width, frequency, temporal structure and polarization are discussed. Means of nonlinear frequency conversion and light amplification are introduced, including frequency doubling, difference and sum frequency generation, optical parametric processes, and supercontinuum generation. Various techniques and devices used for light control are also covered, e.g. active and passive mode-locking, chirped pulse amplification, electro- and acousto-optic modulators, and Faraday isolators. Other advanced light sources, such as high harmonic generation, attosecond sources, and synchrotrons are briefly discussed. The course comprises a theoretical part of 6.0 credits and a laboratory part of 1.5 credits.

Expected study results
To fulfill the goals of knowledge and understanding, the student should be able to:
  • explain the conditions for laser operation
  • describe lasering in three- and four-level systems
  • systematically explain the principles and characteristics of semiconductor lasers, fiber lasers and Ti-sapphire lasers
  • summarize and compare different types of methods for controlling mode structure and reducing line width of semiconductor lasers
  • provide in-depth explanation of the function of light modulators and polarization-twisting cells
  • describe in detail both active and passive mode locking
  • discuss the principles and properties of frequency chambers
  • systematically describe methods for non-linear frequency conversion and light amplification
  • summarize how ultra-short laser pulses can be generated
  • explain the function of techniques for characterizing ultra-short laser pulses, e.g. autocorrelation, SPIDER and FROG
  • systematically describe the design and principles of modern high-power lasers
  • show in-depth understanding of high-harmonic generation and attosecond pulses
  • describe in detail the properties of synchrotrons, and free electron lasers.
In order to fulfill the goals for proficiency and ability, the student should be able to:
  • independently handle semiconductor and fiber lasers
  • systematically analyze the function of advanced laser systems
  • collaborate with other people.
In order to fulfill the goals for values and critical approach, the student should be able to:
  • demonstrate awareness of the risks and hazardous properties of laser light
  • reflect on and evaluate their own efforts in laboratory work.

Form of instruction
The teaching is conducted in the form of lectures and supervision in laboratory sessions. The course contains compulsory experimental labs.

The examination of the theoretical part of the course is in the form of an individual, written exam at the end of the course. The grading scale for the written exam is Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4), Pass with Distinction (5). The examination of the course's experimental laboratory part is done individually through written and oral reports. The grading scale for the reports is Fail (U) or Pass (G).

For the entire course, one of the grades Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with Merit (4), or Pass with Distinction (5) will be given when all parts have been passed. Provided that all parts are passed, the grade on the entire course will be the same as on the theoretical part. Those who have passed an examination is not allowed to take another examination in order to get a higher grade.

The course material will be provided by the department.

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