Tunable Lasers: A Solidifying Trend

The 1980's trends in discovery and development of active media for tunable lasers were to move away from the liquid toward the solid state. The dominance of dye lasers as practical tunable sources, based on their widespread development in the 1970s, had been diminished at the end of the '80s by the emergence of several tunable solid state lasers. In this article, we briefly describe the discoveries and development efforts that led to the present mix of available tunable systems. We include dyes, paramagnetic ions, and color centers in our treatment of media.

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