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(Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) STRUCTURE: 4.2.1) INTRODUCTION OBJEVTIVES 4.2.2) CHARACTERISTICS OF LASER BEAM 4.2.3) ATTENUATION OF LIGHT IN OPTICAL MEDIUM 4.2.4) POPULATION 4.2.5) STIMULATED ABSORPTION 4.2.6) POPULATION INVERSION AND ACTIVE SYSTEM 4.2.7) EMISSION 4.2.8) SPONTANEOUS EMISSION 4.2.9) STIMULATED EMISSION 4.2.10) LASING ACTION 4.2.11) PUMPING 4.2.12) OPTICAL PUMPING 4.2.13) TYPES OF LASERS A) RUBY LASER B) He-Ne LASER C) SEMICONDUCTOR LASER 4.2.14) APPLICATIONS OF LASERS 4.2.15) SUMMARY
Laser is one of the outstanding inventtion of the 20th century . Laser is a photonic device, which is responsible for the new birth of new field, namely photonics. In interference of light we use the term coherence between two sources of light. The two sources are coherent when they vibrate in same phase or there is a constant phase difference. In recent years some sources are developed which are highly coherent, i.e. the radiation gives out by all the emitters in the source is in mutual agreement not only in phase but also in direction of emission and in polarization. These coherent sources are called lasers. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Though it is a light source of light,lasers differ vastly from the traditional light sources. It is not used for illumination purposes and is used for radio wave and microwave transmitters and produce a highly directional coherent monochromatic beam . laser is a tool in metal working , entertainment electronics, optical communications, bloodless surgery weapon guidance in wars and in a wide verity of other fields. The first successful laser was built by T.H.Maiman in 1960 . laser is a device to produce a powerful monochromatic light of beam in which the waves are coherent. The beam emerges as a narrow beam which can travel over long distances without much loss of energy .
After studying this chapter you should able to: know About the features of lasers. About the special characteristics of lasers. About absorption, spontaneous emission, stimulated emission and population inversion. About different types of lasers like solid state laser, gas laser, and semiconductor laser. The applications of lasers in different fields.
4.2.2) SPECIAL CHARACTERISTIC FEATURES OF LASER BEAM:
The most outstanding characteristics of the laser beam are its high degree of directionality , monochromaticity , coherence and brightness. Directionality: the laser beam is highly directional. ex: a laser beam 10cm in diameter when beamed at Moon’s surface.3,84,000km away is more than 5km wide. The laser beam spread is less than 0.01mm for a distance of 1m. Monochromaticity: a laser produces light in more or single wavelength i.e. the line width associated with laser beams are extremely narrow.
Coherence: a laser beam is spatially and temporally coherent to an extraordinary degre Temporal coherence: it refers to relative phase or coherence of the two waves at two separate locations along the propagation direction of two beams. Spatial coherence: it referred to transverse coherence. it is possible to observe interference effect from two independent laser beams. Brightness: the laser beam is highly intense as compared to ordinary sources of light. It can be used for such operations as weding which involve reaching high temperatures.
When light travels through a medium , a gradual reduction in its intensity occurs mainly because of the process of absorption of light and scattering of light in the medium. 1. Light absorption occurs because part of incident light is transformed into the energy of motion of atoms in the medium. 2. Light is scattered when it encounters obstacles of sizes smaller than a wavelength. The reduction in intensity with distance in medium is called attenuation of length. Fig:
4.2.3)ATTENUATION OF LIGHT IN OPTICAL MEDIUM:
A material medium is composed of identical atoms which are characterized by a specific system of energy levels. These energy levels are common to all atoms in the medium. A certain number of atoms occupy a certain energy level. The number of atoms per unit volume that occupy a given energy level is called population of that energy level. A particular medium has atoms, which are characterized by only two energy levels. Let E1 be the ground level and E2 be the excited level. Atoms are differently distributed in these two energy levels. Let the populations in these two energy levels be N1 andN2 respectively. The number of atoms in the lower energy level is always larger than the number of atoms in the higher energy level .under normal conditions higher the energy of energy levels, lesser is population. Hence N1>>N2. Such distribution of atoms among the energy level is termed normal distribution .if energy difference (E2-E1)->0 again N2=N1. They show as long as medium is in thermal equilibrium the population of higher energy level cannot exceeded the population of lower energy level.
4.2.5) STIMULATED ABSORPTION:
The process of particle transfer from normal state corresponding to minimum energy of the system to a higher energy state is termed as excitation and the particle itself is said to be excited. The process is called stimulated or induced absorption. If an atom is in the lower energy level E1 .if a photon of energy hv = (E 2-E1) is incident on atom it imports its energy to the atom and disappears. Then the atom absorbed an incident photon. As a result of absorption of energy, the atom jumps to the excited state E2. The transition is called absorption or incident absorption.
Induced absorption involves the excitation of atom to the fixed energy level only. As a result N1 decreases and N2 increases. But under normal conditions N2cannot be greater than N1. As light propagate through the medium It gets absorbed. N2can be made greater than N1using special techniques.
POPULATION INVERSION AND ACTIVE SYSTEM: Usually the population N2 of higher energy level is less than the population N1 of the lower energy level. This condition is called normal condition or thermal equilibrium, N1>>N2 Making the number of particles n2 more in higher energy level than the number of particles N1 in the lower energy levels (N2>N1) is called as population inversion .or inverted population. Thus the condition where the no of atoms in the excited state exceeds that in lower state is called population inversion. The state of population inversion is referred to as a negative temperature state .It is not a physical quantity but signifying the equilibrium state of system. The states of system, in which the population of higher energy state is more in comparison to the population of lower energy states, are called negative temperature states. When the system has a number of states .Then one of them may have a negative temperature with respect to other state or states. A system in which population inversion is achieved is called an active system. The state of population inversion is a non equilibrium state. The non equilibrium condition is attained by employing pumping techniques to transfer large number of atoms from lower energy level to higher energy level. LIFE TIME OR MEAN LIFE: the particle can remain in the excited state for a limited time known as life time .the life time of the excited hydrogen atom is of the order of 10-8sec. METASTABLE STATES: the excited states in which the life time is greater than 10-8sec. These states are called Meta stable states. In the process of emission there are two types. They are 1.SPONTANEOUS EMISSION 2. STIMULATED EMISSION
4.2.8) SPONTANEOUS EMISSION:
An atom cannot stay in the excited state for a longer time. In a time about 10 -8s, the atoms return to its lower energy state by releasing a photon of energy h ϑ ,where h ϑ=(E2-E1) .The emission of photon occurs on its own and without any external agent given to excited atom . emission of a photon by an atom without any external agent is called spontaneous emission. Fig:
An atom in the excited state need not wait for spontaneous of photon . before the atom can make a spontaneous transition , it may interact with a photon with energy h ϑ=E2-E1 and make a downward transition . the photon is said to stimulate the excited atom to emit the photon of energy h ϑ=E2-E1 .In addition to the incident photon , there is a second photon which is emitted by the excited atom. The phenomenon of forced photon emission by an excited atom due to the action of an external energy is called stimulated emission. Fig
DISTINCTION BETWEEN SPONTANEOUS EMISSION AND STIMMULATED EMISSION:
1. Transitions occurs from higher energy level to 1. Transitions occurs from higher energy level to lower energy level lower energy level 2. No incident photon is required 2. Photon whose energy is equal to difference of two energy levels is required. 3. Single photon is emitted 3. Two photons of same energy are emitted. 4. The energy of emitted photon is equal to the 4. The energy of emitted photon is double the energy difference of two levels energy the energy of stimulated photons. 5. This was postulated by Bohr 5. this was postulated by Einstein 4.2.14) LASING ACTION:
In stimulated emission, the emitted photon travels in the same direction as that of incident photon. Now the two photons again stimulate emission of photon from two excited atoms. This results in the emission of four photons from two excited atoms. In a similar way a chain reaction or avalanche effect is produced. The phenomenon is known as lasing action. So, a monochromatic intense and coherent beam having the same frequency as that of incident beam is obtained. This is called a laser beam. This is the principle of working of a laser.
The method of raising of the particle from lower energy state to higher energy state is called as pumping or process of producing population inversion is known as pumping . this can be done by number of ways the most commonly used methods are 1. OPTICAL PUMPING 2. ELECTRICAL DISCHARGE 3. INELASTIC COLLESSION OF ATOMS etc… If the active medium is transparent and non conductivity in nature then the optical pumping is used . if the medium is conducting in nature then the electric field is used to attain population inversion.
The most common method of pumping is optical pumping. Consider a three level system . let us allow all transitions between these levels. If the system is exposed to a external source with a frequency Corresponding to the transform level1 to level3 . Fig:
if the life time of the particles in level 3 is sufficiently long(meta stable state) , their number in this level will exceed that in level 2. in this way level 3 is inversely populated with respect to level2. thus by optical pumping , the condition for population inversion is obtained(N3>N2). For a light of frequency ϑ23 the system acts as laser. The stimulated radiation together with original incident radiation both coherent can stimulate the emission of more coherent , radiation by other particles in the higher energy state . this process can go on ,provided enough molecules are in higher energy state. In fig (b) the population inversion N2>N1 is created. Here the necessary condition is that the state 2 must be in meta stable state. Optical pumping raises the particles to level3 , from where most of them return to state1 but some go to state2. the probability of transition from state2 to state1 is very low hence in due course of time N2>N1 , which is population inversion. In the presence of external photon h ϑ12, stimulated emission takes place from state2 to 1. hence a laser beam of energy h ϑ12 is obtained.
4.2.13) TYPES OF LASERS:
Among the various kinds of lasers, solid state lasers, gas laser, liquid laser, dye laser and semiconductor laser are some important types of lasers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. SOLID STATE LASERS : Ruby laser, Nd:YAG laser GAS LASER : He-Ne laser , CO2 laser LIQUID LASER : European chelate laser, SeOCl2 laser DYE LASER : Rhodamine 6G lasers SEMICONDUCTOR LASER : InP laser ,GaAs laser.
A) RUBY LASER: Ruby laser is a three level solid state laser and was constructed by Maiman in 1960. it is a pulsed laser having very high power of hundreads of mega watt in a single pulse with about 10 nano second duration Ruby(Al2O3) laser uses a crystalline substance as a active material. Construction: it consists of three main parts. (1) an active working material: a rod of ruby crystal in the form of cylindrical rod 3 to5 mm in diameter and 5 to 30 cm long. (2) A resonant cavity: it is made of fully reflecting plate at the left of ruby crystal and a partially reflecting plate at the right of ruby crystal . both the plates are optically plane and exactly parallel to each other. Exciting system: a helical xenon flash tube with power supply source. Working: ruby is a crystal of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) in which some aluminum atoms are replaced by chromium atoms. The active material in the ruby are chromium ions Cr+3. when the ruby crystal contains about 0.5% of chromium its color is pink.
In a ruby laser, a pink rod of 4 cm length and 0.5 cm in diameter is generally used. The end faces of rod are made strictly parallel, ground and high degree. The end faces are silvered that one end becomes fully reflecting while the other end partially reflecting. The ruby rod is surrounded by a helical xenon flash tube which provides the pumping light to raise the chromium ions to upper energy levels. The flash of xenon tube lasts several milliseconds and the tube consumes several thousand joules of energy. Only a part of this energy is used in pumping the Cr +3 ions while the rest heats up the apparatus. For this purpose a cooling arrangement is used. 1, 2 &3 represent the energy levels of chromium ion. In normal state, chromium ion is in lower levels. When the ruby crystal is irradiate with the light of xenon flash, the chromium atoms are excited and pass to upper level where the light absorption band is 5600 Ao. The absorption band width of this level is about 800 Ao. New few excited chromium atoms return to ground level 1 and other to level 2. The transition 3->2 are non irradiative. The chromium atoms give part of energy to crystalline lattice in the form of heat. Most of excited atoms in state 3 returns to state 1 but those which go to state 2 have a little chance to return to state 1 spontaneously. After few milliseconds the level 2 becomes more populated than level 1. And hence population inversion is achieved. The state of inverted population is unstable and the probability of spontaneous transitions is very high. The spontaneous transitions may cause an induced transition which produces a photon. This photon knocks out second photon from neighboring atom. The atom from which the first photon was emitted is brought to ground level. The photons will knock out two more photons and their total number will be four and so on. Photon travelling parallel to the axis of the tube will start a cascade of photon emission while the photon travelling in any direction other than this will pass out of ruby. Photon beam parallel to the axis of crystal grows in strength and some of it burst through the particle reflector and serves as laser output beam. The laser beam then causes till next flash of xenon tube repeats the process. Thus the ruby laser is a pulsed laser. The output beam has wavelength of 6943 Ao which is in the visible spectrum. The duration of output flash about 300msec .It is very intense of about 10000 watts
Fig: Energy level of ruby B) He-Ne LASER(GAS LASER): The main drawback of ruby laser is that the output beam is not continuous though very intense. For the continuous laser beam, gas lasers are used. In gas lasers the vapors of metals are employed as active medium .the main advantage of gas lasers are high monochromaticity, most pure spectrum and high stability of frequency. The out put power of gas laser is moderate. They have wide application in science and it engineering pertucurlly in communications. It is a four level laser system In 1961, A.JAVAN, w.Bennett and D.Herriot reported a continuous gas laser. CONSTRUCTION: the gas laser consists of a fused quartz tube with a diameter of about 1.5 cm and 80 cm long. The tube is filled with a mixture of neon under a pressure of 0.1mm of mercury and helium under a pressure of 1mm of mercury . There is a majority of He atoms and minority of Ne atoms. And one end of the tube there is a perfect reflector on the other end is partial reflected . the active material is excited by means of high frequency generator with a frequency of several tens of MHz and an input of about 50 watt. Fig:
WORKING: when a discharge is passed through the gas , the electrons are accelerated towards the positive electrode. During their passage the collide with He atoms and excite them into upper states labeled He2 and He3. These are meta stable states . The atoms remain in these levels for a sufficiently long time. Now these atoms interact with neon atoms which are in ground state. The interaction excite the neon atoms to their Meta stable state labeled Ne4 and Ne6 while He atoms returns to their ground state. As the energy exchange continuous, the population of neon atoms in excited states increases more and more. When an excited ne atom passes spontaneously from meta stable states Ne4 and Ne6 to states Ne3and Ne5 it emits a photon. This photon travels through gas mixture. If this photon is moving parallel to the axis of tube, it is reflected back and forth by the reflectors until it stimulates an excited neon atom and causes it to emit a fresh photon in phase with stimulating photon. This process is continuous and laser beam builds up in tube. When the beam becomes intense a portion of it escapes. Through partially reflected end. The neon atom now passes down spontaneously to a lower state Ne2 by emitting incoherent light. Finally the Ne atom comes to ground state through collision with tube walls. This is radiation less transition. Gas laser emit light which is more directional and monochromatic. Gas lasers are capable of operating continuously with out need of cooling. C) SEMICONDUCTOR LASER (Ga-As LASER): Semiconductor laser is also called as diode laser. These have important applications in fiber optic communication. PRINCIPLE: when a current is passed through a p-n junction, p region positively biased. Holes are injected from p region into n region and electrons from n region to p region. the electrons and holes recombine and release of energy takes place near the junction region .this energy is called active energy depends on type of semi conductor . In semiconductors like germanium and silicon , most of the energy released in the form of heat because the recombination of carriers of opposite sign takes place through interaction with atoms of crystal. But in case of Gallium Arsenide the energy is released as light because the atoms of the crystals are not involved in the release of energy. The wavelength of emitted light depends on activation energy of the crystal. Photons emitted at the moment of recombination of an electron with a hole will stimulate recombination of other carriers of electric charge. The result will be stimulated emission of radiation. If these radiations moving in the plane of the junction are made to move back and forth in the plane of junction by reflection at opposite parallel sides and perpendicular to plane of junction, a very powerful laser beam can be produced. In semiconductor laser, the active medium was a single crystal of GaAs cut into plate having thickness of 0.05 mm. The plate let consists of two parts exhibiting electron conductivity and a whole conductivity. The emission is stimulated in p-n junction layer which is very thin. Electric current is applied to crystal platelet through a strip electrode fixed to its upper end. Fig:
When exciting currents are small, a small part of carriers undergo recombination. The process of spontaneous. The laser radiation is random and incoherent. When the current density is increased the emission becomes more and more coherent and radiation intensity increases. Now efficiency of GaAs lasers reach 40%. When cooled to 20k, semiconductor lasers have delivered output of more than 2 watts of continuous power. The semiconductor lasers may reach 100% efficiency. They have a high stability of output frequency.
Because of high directionality, high coherence, high monochromaticity and high intensity lasers are widely used in the fields of (1) communication (2)computers (3)industry (4)scientific research (5)military operation (6)medicine LASERS IN COMMUNICATION: In case of optical fiber communication, semiconductor lasers diodes are used as optical sources and its band width is used very high compared to radio and microwave communication. (1) as it has large band width , more amount of data can be sent. (2) Signals cannot be tapped. (3) Due to its high directionality and less divergence, it has greater potential used in space crafts. And submarines. Used in high speed photo copiers and printers. LASERS IN COMPUTERS: (1) In LAN , data can be transferred or transmitted from the memory storage of one computer to another computer using laser for short time (2) CD-ROM stores large amount of data used in CD-ROM s during recording and reading the data.
APPLICATIONS OF LASERS:
LASERS IN INDUSTRY : (1) Lasers can be used to blast holes in diamonds and hard steel. (2) To cut teeth in saws, drill eyes in surgical needles, and test the quality of a fabric. (3) Used as source of intense heat. (4) Lasers range finder is used to measure distance to making maps by surveyors. (5) Laser welding has advantages over gas welding, such as • Purity of the material is not altered. • Localized heating by small spot size can be accurately controlled by programming with computer to reproduce exact characteristics. LASERS IN SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH: (1) Separating isotopes of Uranium using laser. (2) Used to clean delicate pieces of art, develop hidden finger prints. (3) Used in the field of 3D – photography called holography. (4) Holography plays a very important role in optical signal processing. (5) Used to produce certain chemical reactions. (6) In plastic industries, the monomers are united by laser irradiation to produce polymers. (7) The internal structure of microorganisms and cells are studied very accurately. (8) To produce Raman spectrum for small samples. (9) To confirm Doppler shifts in frequency for moving objects. evaluating the velocity of a moving object. LASERS IN MEDICINE: (1)Doctors use the heating action of a laser beam to remove diseased body tissue. (2)Used to correct a condition called retinal detachment by eye specialist. (3)Used in opening blocked arteries, reconnecting several nerves and treating bleeding ulcers. (4)Instead of traditional sutures, the surgery allows doctors to weld injured muscles and ligaments with out use of heat. (5)Used for elimination of moles and tumors which are developing in the skintissue. (6)Pulse neodymium laser is employed in the treatment of liver cancer. (7)The endoscopes are made from optical fibers which are flexible with a suitable laser (8)CO2 laser is used in spinal and brain tumors excision kidney stone extrusion.
LASER means light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Excitation of atoms from lower energy state to higher energy state due to interaction of radiation with matter is known as stimulated absorption. When electron in the excited level E2 falls spontaneously to lower energy level E1 after its life time a photon is emitted. This process is called spontaneous emission. When electron in the excited level E2 is induced by a photon of energy E2-E1 the electron moves to lower energy level E1 emitting another photon of energy E2-E1. This process is called stimulated emission. Stimulated emission of radiation results in amplification of light. To get the LASER beam the population of excited state must be greater than the population of lower energy state. This condition is called population inversion. There are different pumping mechanisms to excite the atoms from lower energy state to higher energy state. There are different methods to get laser beam for example ruby laser, He-Ne laser, and solid state laser. Due to high energy laser beam possess so many applications in many fields like engineering, medicine, military etc.