Ti:sapphire lasers: Out of the lab and back in again

Tunable solid-state lasers have been with us for a long time, dating back to the demonstration by L.F. Johnson at Bell Labs in 1964 of the Ni:MgF2 laser, the first system of any type with the potential for continuous, broadly tunable oscillation. For many years, tunable solid-state lasers remained as laboratory curiosities and were overshadowed by the dye laser, which offered complete coverage of the near-UV to near-infrared wavelength region.

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