The field of solid state lasers has experienced a renascence of research interest and advancement in recent years. Novel or significantly improved laser source capabilities (wavelength tunability, ultrashort pulse duration, efficiency, energy, power, etc.) have been realized through a combination of factors: (1) increased fundamental knowledge of the spectrokinetic phenomena involving the laser and sensitizer ions embedded in the host solid state material; (2) the identification, synthesis, and development of new laser materials, (3) the development and application of high performance semiconductor laser diode pump sources in several critical wavelength regions; and (4) the introduction of novel pumping and output beam mode control strategies.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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