Interaction of light with matter

Basic processes (A. Einstein, 1916)
E
2
E
1
hν = E
2
- E
1
E
2
E
1
hν = E
2
- E
1
Absorption Spontaneous emission
transition probability A
21
randomphase and direction
Stimulated emission
E
2
E
1
hν = E
2
- E
1
hν = E
2
- E
1
transition probabilityB
21
has the same frequency and
phase as the incident light
¬ light amplification
1 Laser fundamentals
transition probabilityB
12
2
An ensemble of (two-level) atoms in equilibrium with black-body radiation at temperatute T:
kT h
kT E
kT E
e
e
e
N
N
/
/
/
1
2
1
2
ν −


= =
when E
2
> E
1
¬ N
2
< N
1
energy density
ρ(ν) B
12
N
1
=A
21
N
2
+ρ(ν) B
21
N
2
In equilibrium:
1
1 8
) (
/ 3
3
21
/
12
21
2 21 1 12
2 21

ν π
=

=

= ν ρ
ν ν kT h kT h
e c
h
B e B
A
N B N B
N A
T
Matter:
Field:
E
2
E
1
N
2
N
1
B
12
A
21
B
21
1
1 8
) (
/ 3
3

ν π
= ν ρ
ν kT h
e c
h
[ν = (E
2
- E
1
)/h]
0
8 8
3
3
21
21 /
21
12
3
3
21
21
=
(
¸
(

¸
ν π
− −
(
¸
(

¸
ν π

ν
c
h
B
A
e
B
B
c
h
B
A
kT h
21 12
3
3
21
21
and
8
B B
c
h
B
A
=
ν π
=
Laser fundamentals
Planck
Boltzmann
(non-degenerate levels)
3
B
12
=B
21
and N
2
<N
1
in a large atom population:
netto effect = absorption
1
1
1 ) (
emission s spontaneou
emission stimulated
/
21
21
<<

=
ν ρ
=
ν kT h
e A
B
Emission
Ratio of the emission rates:
λ = 550 nm:
21
21
( )
1
B
A
ρ ν
= when T ~ 41.000 K
Stimulated processes
thermal sources incoherent
An artificial population inversion (N
2
>N
1
) is needed to allow light
amplification by stimulated emission
=LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)
Laser fundamentals
1
1 8
) (
/ 3
3

ν π
= ν ρ
ν kT h
e c
h
3
3
21
21
8
c
h
B
A ν π
=
4
PUMPING
Creating population inversion
1) Optical pumping (lamp, another laser)
2) Electron excitation (electrical discharge)
3) Inelastic atom-atom or
molecule-molecule collisions
A

+ B →A + B

4) Chemical reaction
e.g. H
2
+ F
2
→2 HF
Created in an excited state
PUMPING LASER
fast
relaxation
fast
relaxation
0
3
2
1
Laser fundamentals
5
4-level laser
dt
dN
dt
dN
dt
dN
dt
dN
N N
dt
dN
N N
dt
dN
N N
dt
dN
3 2 1 0
3 32 0
3
3 32 2 21
2
2 21 1 10
1
+ + = −
γ − Γ =
γ + γ − =
γ + γ − =
0
3
2
1
γ
32
γ
21
γ
10
Γ
γ
30
, γ
31
<<γ
32
γ
20
<<γ
21
0
32
3 0
21
2 0
10
1
N N N N N N
γ
Γ
=
γ
Γ
=
γ
Γ
=
¬Population inversion: N
2
>N
1
as soon as Γ > 0
0
21 10
21 10
1 2
N N N Γ
|
|
.
|

\
|
γ γ
γ − γ
= −
If γ
10
> γ
21
1
3
2
γ
32
γ
21
Γ
Population inversion: N
2
>N
1
, when Γ > γ
21
3-level laser
Laser fundamentals
4-level system
Population inversion much easier to achieve
in a 4-level system
0
i
dN
dt
=
In equilibrium:
6
In the optical region:
λ << practically possible L →a closed cavity supports an ‘impossible’ number of modes
Solution: decrease the number of modes by keeping only the end facets!
Drawback: diffraction losses
µ-waves, radiowaves:
closed resonator
What type of a resonator ?
L
λ
amplification
resonator
eigenmodes
λ ~ L →modes wide apart
In electronics: amplifier + feedback →oscillator
Laser is an optical oscillator, which requires optical feedback to operate
OPTICAL RESONATOR
Laser fundamentals
E.g. maser
7
M M
L
z
Laser has an open resonator
in its simlest form: two mirrors facing each other
phase factor due to propagation:
∝ e
-ikz
( k =2π/λ =2πν/c )
p k L π = δ + ⋅ − 2 2 2
one round trip through the resonator:
the phase must change by a multiple of 2π
→resonance frequencies
Phase change in mirror reflection
p = 0, ±1, ±2 ...
assume: empty cavity
L
c
p
L
c

2 2
− =
separation between successive resonances: constant
2
= = ν ∆
L
c
Laser fundamentals
ν
• • • • • •
2
c
L
the phase condition defines the
LONGITUDINAL (OR AXIAL) MODE STRUCTURE
8
Eigenmodes of the laser resonator:
2δν
1/2
∆ν =
c
L 2
F L
c 2
4
2 / 1
π
= δν
(OBS! NOT the laser linewidth)
(R = mirror reflectivity)
2
) 1 (
4
R
R
F

=
Linewidth
ν
losses
A
m
p
l
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
nï scattering
ï diffraction
ï mirrors
Losses
ν
O
u
t
p
u
t

I
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y
Laser fundamentals
AMPLIFYING MEDIUM placed in OPTICAL RESONATOR ¬ LASER
9
LASER THRESHOLD (limit where round-trip gain exceeds total loss)
N
p
=cavity photon number
r =normalized pump rate
N
p
Under threshold: (spontaneous emission)
radiation isotropic
incoherent, thermal light
broad spectrum
Above threshold: (stimulated emission)
laser output in a directed, narrow beam
coherent light
narrow spectrum
Laser fundamentals
What happens when pumping is gradually increased?
¬spontaneous emission stays
at its threshold value
N
p
’explodes’ at the threshold
Above threshold N
p
increases linearly as
a function of pumping
Above threshold the population inversion
stays at its threshold value
10
Summary:
PUMPING
Optical pumping
Electron excitation
Inelastic atom-atom or
molecule-molecule collisions
Chemical reaction
Laser fundamentals
LASER MEDIUM
• solid
• gas
• liquid
• semiconductor
LASER BEAM
R ~100 % R <100 %
OPTICAL RESONATOR
Unstable resonator
11 Laser fundamentals
LASER RESONATOR CONFIGURATIONS
12 Laser fundamentals
θ
ρ
M
1
M
2
(x, y)
E
1
(x, y)
(xí, yí)
E
2
(xí, yí)
z
R
Fresnel - Kirchhoff :
( ) ( ) [ ]
( ) dxdy
e
y x E
ik
dxdy
e
y x E
ik
y x E
ik
ik
ρ π
θ
ρ π
ρ
ρ


))
))
− ≅
+ − =
,
2
1 cos ,
4
' , '
1
1 2
R >> x, y, xí, yí
R
yy
R
xx
R
' '
− − ≅ ρ ¬
Integration limits → ± ∞
( )
))
(
¸
(

¸

+
∞ +
∞ −

− ≅ dxdy e y x E
R
e ik
R
yy
R
xx
ik
ikR
' '
1
,

E
2
(xí,yí)
TRANSVERSE MODE STRUCTURE: CONFOCAL RESONATOR
A transverse mode is a field configuration on the
surface of one reflector that propagates to the other
reflector and back, returning in the same pattern,
apart from a complex amplitude factor (that gives
the total phase shift and loss of the round trip.
M
1
and M
2
: radius of curvature = R
cos θ ~1
(essentially Huygen’s principle in mathematical form)
R
2-D Fourier transform
13 Laser fundamentals
E
1
returns to itself after one round trip
Symmetry ¬for the main modes: E
2
= E
1
¬ E
1
is its own F -transform:
(cf. Quantummechanics / harmonic oscillator)
( ) ( )
2 2 2 2
y b x a
n m
e y H x H E
− −

For an eigenmode: field distribution is stationary inside the resonator
TEM
mn
- modes
TEM
00
- mode
Ansatz:
) )
+∞
∞ −
+∞
∞ −
− −

− = dy e e dx e e
R
e ik
R ikyy r y R ikxx r x
ikR
/ ' / / ' /
2
0
2 2
0
2

E
2
(xí,yí)
)
+∞
∞ −
− −
=
2 2 2 2
4 / a x i x a
e
a
dx e e
ξ ξ
π
( )
2 2
2
2
0
2
' '
4
2
0
2
y x
R
r k
ikR
e r
R
e ik
+ −

− = π
π
E
2
(xí,yí)
( )
2
0
2 2
/ r y x
e
+ −
= E
1
(x,y)
Hermite polynomials:

) 1 2 ( 2 ) (
2 ) (
1 ) (
2
2
1
0
− =
=
=
x x H
x x H
x H
( ) ( )
' '
2 1
', ' ,
2
xx yy
ikR
ik
R R
ik e
E x y E x y e dxdy
R π
+∞
(

+
(
¸ ¸
−∞
≅ −
))
14 Laser fundamentals
E
1
≡ E
2
:
k
R
r
R
kr
r
2
2
1
0
0
0
= ¬ = ¬
Gaussian intensity distribution on the mirrors:
( )
2 2 2
0
' ' /
2
2 1
i kR
x y r
ikR
E ie e e E
π | |
− +
|
− +

\ .
=− =
( )
2 2
2
2
0
2
' '
4
2
0
2
y x
R
r k
ikR
e r
R
e ik
+ −

− = π
π
( )
2
0
2 2
/r y x
e
+ −
Phase factor: e
-i(kR+π/2)
¬for one round trip: 2δ - π - 2Rk = 2πp
[ for a plane mirror resonator: 2δ - 2Lk = 2πp ]
2r
0
2
2
0
r
R
x
OBS. At x =r
0
0
2
2
2 1
0
= = × = x r x E
e
E
Wave front Intensity distribution
E.g. λ = 633 nm, R = 1 m
¬ 2r
0
= 0.9 mm (small !!)
The mode is completely
determined by theresonator
geometry (and λ)
Spot size on mirrors:
15 Laser fundamentals
TEM
00
TEM
10
TEM
20
TEM
30
TEM
60
TEM
11
TEM
23
TEM
22
TEM
21
HIGHER ORDER TEM
nm
MODES
OBS. To each transverse mode there corresponds
a set of longi tudinal modes spaced by c/2L
16 Laser fundamentals
Higher order transverse modes can be ‘killed’
with a suitable aperture in the cavity
TEM
00
, TEM
10
, TEM
20
modes:
Intensity distribution in the transverse plane
-3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3
0.0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.2
I
n
t
e
n
s
i
t
y

(
a
.
u
.
)
Transverse distance (a.u.)
SINGLE TRANSVERSE MODE OPERATION
L
c
2
= ν ∆
ν
loss
A
m
p
l
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n
1) ¬ by shortening L, the modes get further apart 2)
Lower amplification (reduced pumping)
ν
loss
A
m
p
l
i
f
i
c
a
t
i
o
n
1) and 2) allow only low powers to be obtained (of no practical use)
17 Laser fundamentals
SINGLE LONGITUDINAL MODE OPERATION
LONGITUDINAL MODE
L
z
,
2
L m
λ
= ⋅
m =integer
2
7
L
λ =
2
6
L
λ =
3) Generate additional losses for the extra modes by placing frequency selective optical elements
in the laser resonator
OBS. The lasing mode gets some of the gain of the killed modes
→higher power/mode
18 Laser fundamentals
19 Laser fundamentals
Wavelength range
10 - 15 nm → 100 - 500 µm (100 eV →0.01 eV)
tunable lasers: dye laser, diode laser, Ti:Sapphire laser …
Monochromaticity
typically ∆ν ~ 1 MHz - 1 GHz
at best
Directionality
(d = beam diameter)
typically δΘ ~1 mrad, with extra collimation →1 µrad
∆λ ∆ν
λ ν
= ≈



− −
1 100
10 10
15 12
Hz
5 10 Hz
14
~
δΘ
λ

d
,
LASER PROPERTIES
Coherence
coherence time ∆τ = 1/∆ν
e.g. ∆ν = 1 MHz → ∆τ = 1 µs
coherence length ∆z = c ⋅ ∆τ
e.g. ∆z = c ⋅ ∆τ = 3 ⋅ 10
8
m/s ⋅ 1 µs = 300 m
Spectral brightness
β
ν
= P
ν
/ A ∆Ω ∆ν [W/cm
2
-sr-Hz]
Sun β
ν
~ 1.5 ⋅ 10
-12
W/cm
2
-sr-Hz
HeNe-laser (1 mW) β
ν
~ 25 W/cm
2
-sr-Hz
Nd:glass-laser (10 GW) β
ν
~ 2 ⋅ 10
8
W/cm
2
-sr-Hz
Operation mode
CW (continuous wave)
pulsed operation
shortest pulses < 10 fs (10
-14
s)
peak power at best tens of TW
20 Laser fundamentals
0.4
Ar ion 0.2 -0.306
Ar or r ion 0.33-0.36
Ne 0.33-0.3
Pulsed dye 0.32-1.0
Ar ion 0.4 -0. 2
Xe ion 0.4 -0. 4
InGaAlP diode 0.63-0.66
Alexandrite 0. 2-0.
GaAlAs diode 0. -0.9
Ti:Sapphire 0.6 -1.13
0.
0.
1.0
0.1 Molecular luorine (
2
) 0.1
Ar excimer 0.192
rCl excimer 0.222
r excimer 0.24
XeCl excimer 0.30
He-Cd 0.32
N
2
0.33
Xe excimer 0.3 1
He-Cd 0.442
Cu vapor 0. 1
HeNe 0. 43
Cu vapor 0.
HeNe 0. 94
HeNe 0.612
Au vapor 0.62
HeNe 0.633
He-Cd 0.636
GaInP diode 0.6
Ruby 0.694
HeNe 0. 3
InGaAs diode 0.9
Nd:( AG,Glass, L ) 1.06
1.
2.0
10.0
1.0
InGaAsP diode 1.2-1.6
Color center 1.4-1.6
Color center 2.3-3.3
H chemical 2.6-3.0
chemical 3.6-4.0
CO -6
CO
2
9-11
N
2
O 10-11
Lead Salt diode 3.3-29
HeNe 1.1
Nd: L 1.313
I
2
1.31
Nd: AG 1.32
HeNe 1. 23
Er-amplifier 1. 4
Holmium 2.1
Er: AG 2.94
HeNe 3.39
Wavelength Wavelength
[µm [µm
Most common laser lines