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Advanced Laser Systems and Technology, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Avancerade lasersystem och laserteknologi

This syllabus is valid: 2021-03-08 valid to 2023-08-27 (newer version of the syllabus exists)

Course code: 5FY215

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Physics: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: TH teknisk betygsskala

Responsible department: Department of Physics

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-02-24


After a repetition of the basics of laser action, the course covers different types of continuous wave and pulsed lasers (especially semiconductor, fibre lasers, and solid-state lasers) operating in a wide range of wavelengths (from the X-ray region through, the visible, and up to the mid-infrared range) with a variety of properties (everything from an extremely narrow linewidth, via multimode behaviour and frequency comb structure, to broadband ultra-short high-power pulses). Methods for controlling the laser mode structure, linewidth, frequency, temporal structure, and polarisation are discussed. Techniques for nonlinear frequency conversion - including frequency doubling, sum- and difference-frequency generation, and optical parametric processes -light amplification and supercontinuum generation are treated. The course also includes a treatment of equipment and techniques for active control of light, e.g., frequency control, active and passive mode-locking, and chirped-pulse amplification using electro- and acousto-optical modulators and Faraday isolators. Finally, other advanced light sources, such as attosecond sources based on high harmonic generation, synchrotrons, and free electron lasers are discussed. The course comprises a theoretical module of 6.0 credits, and a laboratory module of 1.5 credits.

Expected learning outcomes

To fulfil the goals of knowledge and understanding, the student should be able to:

  • explain in detail the conditions for laser operation
  • describe lasing in three- and four-level systems
  • systematically explain the principles and characteristics of semiconductor lasers, fiber lasers and Ti-sapphire lasers
  • compile and contrast different types of methods for controlling mode structure and reducing linewidth of semiconductor lasers
  • provide an in-depth explanation of the function of light modulators and polarisation-rotators
  • describe in detail both active and passive mode locking
  • discuss the principles and properties of frequency combs
  • systematically describe methods for non-linear frequency conversion and light amplification
  • thoroughly summarise how ultra-short laser pulses can be generated
  • explain the function of techniques for characterising ultra-short laser pulses, e.g. autocorrelation, SPIDER, and FROG
  • systematically describe the construction of, and principles for modern high-power lasers
  • demonstrate in-depth understanding of high-harmonic generation and attosecond pulses
  • describe in detail the properties of synchrotrons, and free electron lasers.

To fulfil the goals for proficiency and ability, the student should be able to:

  • independently handle semiconductor and fiber lasers
  • systematically analyse the function of advanced laser systems
  • collaborate with other people.

To fulfil the goals for evaluation 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.

Required Knowledge

90 credits including Waves and Optics and Quantum Physics or equivalent. Swedish for basic eligibility for higher education programmes and English A/5. Requirements for Swedish only apply if the course is held in Swedish.

Form of instruction

The teaching is conducted in the form of lectures, lessons, problem solving sessions, and supervision in laboratory sessions. The experimental laboratory work is mandatory. In addition to scheduled activities, individual work with the course material is also required.

Examination modes

The examination of the theoretical module 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 laboratory module takes place in groups, with individual assessment, though written reports and oral presentation. The grading scale for the written and oral reports is Fail (U) or Pass (G).

For the full 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 course grade will be the same as on the theoretical part. A student who have passed an examination is not allowed to take another examination in order to get a higher grade.

Deviations from the examination form of this syllabus can be made for a student who has a decision on pedagogical support due to functional diversity. Individual adaptation of the examination form must be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adapted within the framework of the expected study results described in this syllabus. At the request of the student, the course teacher, in consultation with the examiner, shall promptly decide on an adapted form of examination. The decision must then be notified to the student.

A student who has undergone two exams for a course or part of a course without a passing grade, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons militate against it (The Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 6, Section 22). Requests for a new examiner are made to the head of the Department of Physics. For more information, see Rules for grades and examination at first and second cycle studies, dnr: FS 1.1.2-553-14.

Transfer of credits
Students have the right to have previous education or equivalent knowledge, and skills acquired in professional activities assessed for the transfer of credits to corresponding education at Umeå University. The application for credit transfer is sent to the Student Services Office/Degree Evaluation Office. More information about credit transfer can be found on Umeå University's Student web, www.student.umu.se, and in the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A rejection of an application for credit can be appealed (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12) to the Higher Education Appeals Board. This applies if the entire or parts of the application for a transfer of credits are rejected.

Other regulations

The course replaces the previous course Advanced Laser Systems and Laser Technology 7.5 credits (5FY189) and cannot be included in the degree together with that course. In the event that the syllabus expires or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three examination opportunities (including the regular examination opportunity), according to the regulations in the syllabus on which the student was originally registered, for a maximum of two years from the previous syllabus expiring or the course has been discontinued.


Valid from: 2021 week 10

Material distributed by the Department of Physics. Laboratory instructions.