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Types of Solid-State Lasers

Types of Solid-State Lasers

Wavelengths of different lasers

Lasers with clear lines of radiation are shown at the top, while lasers capable of radiating ranging wavelengths are shown below.  The height of the lines and bands corresponds to the maximum energies of commercially available lasers; the solid lines denote continuous radiation, and the dotted lines denote pulsed. The solid green squares are the power of a single semiconductor laser, the horizontal green lines are the power increase of multiple lasers. For Ar + -Kr +, only the main lines are labeled, the rest are marked as short lines. The wavelength scale combines linear and logarithmic scales. The color highlights various materials of laser pumping (see the description of the figure). The data are given in accordance with the Handbook of laser wavelengths, with the table adding new types of lasers, including semiconductor ones.


Gas Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
HeNe lasers 632,8 nm (543,5; 593,9; 611,8 nm, 1,1523; 1,52; 3,3913 um) Electric discharge Interferometry, holography, spectroscopy, barcode reading, demonstration of optical effects.
Argon lasers 488,0; 514,5 nm, (351; 465,8; 472,7; 528,7 nm) Electric discharge Retina treatment, lithography, pumping of other lasers.
Kr lasers 416; 530,9; 568,2; 647,1; 676,4; 752,5; 799,3 nm Electric discharge Scientific researches, laser shows, white light lasers (combined with Argon)
Xe lasers Many spectral lines throughout the entire visible spectrum and partially in the UV and IR ranges. Electric discharge Scientific researches
N2 lasers 337,1 nm (316; 357 nm) Electric discharge Dye laser pumping, atmospheric pollution research, research, educational lasers
Hydrogen-fluorine laser 2,7—2,9 um (Hydrogen-fluorine) 3,6—4,2 um (deuterium fluoride) The chemical reaction of combustion of ethylene and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3)), initiated by electric discharge (pulsed mode) Operate in a continuous mode in the ranges of megawatt power and in a pulse mode in the range of terawatt power. One of the most powerful lasers. Laser weapons. Laser Thermonuclear Fusion (LTF).
Chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) 1,315 um The chemical reaction in the flame of singlet oxygen and iodine Work in a continuous mode in the range of megawatt capacity. A pulse option is also available. Scientific research, laser weapons. Processing of materials. Laser Thermonuclear Fusion (LTF). In perspective: the source of pumping of neodymium lasers and X-ray laser systems.


CO2 laser (CO2) 10,6 um, (9,6 um) Transverse (high power) or longitudinal (low power) electric discharge, chemical reaction (DF-CO2 laser) Materials processing  (cutting, welding), surgery.
Carbon monoxide laser (CO) 2,5—4,2 um, 4,8—8,3 um Electric discharge, chemical reaction Materials processing  (cutting, engraving etc.), photoacoustic spectroscopy
Excimer laser 193 nm (ArF), 248 nm (KrF), 308 nm (XeCl), 353 nm (XeF) Recombination of excimer molecules at the electric discharge UV lithography in the semiconductor industry, laser surgery, vision correction.

Dye Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
Dye Lasers 390—435 nm (Stilbene), 460—515 нм (Coumarin102), 570—640 nm (Rhodamine 6G), others Another laser, pulse lamp. Researches, spectroscopy, cosmetic surgery, isotope separation. The operation range is determined by the dye type.

Metal Vapor Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
Helium-cadmium metal vapor lasers


440 nm, 325 nm Electric discharge in the mixture of metal vapors and Helium Polygraphy, UV currency detectors, research.

metal vapor lasers

567 nm, 615 nm Electric discharge in the mixture of metal vapors and Helium Archeology, research, educational lasers.
He-Se metal vapor lasers Up to 24 spectral bands, from red to UV

Electric discharge in the mixture of metal vapors and Helium

Electrical discharge in the mixture of metal vapors and Helium Archeology, research, educational lasers.
Copper vapor laser 510,6 nm, 578,2 nm Electric discharge Dermatology, speed photography, Dye laser pumping
Gold vapor laser 627 nm Electric discharge Archeology, medicine.

Solid-State Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
Ruby lasers 694,3 nm Pulse lamp Holography, tattoo removal. First represented type of the laser (1960).
Nd:YAG lasers 1,064 um, (1,32 um) Pulse lamp, laser diode Material processing, laser range finders, laser target marker, surgery, research, pumping of other lasers. One of the most common high power lasers. Usually works in a pulse mode (fractions of nanoseconds). Often used in combination with a frequency doubling and a corresponding change in wavelength by 532 nm. Known designs with a quasi-continuous radiation mode.


Neodymium-doped yttrium-lithium fluoride lasers (Nd:YLF) 1,047 and 1,053 um Pulse lamp, laser diode Titanium-sapphire laser pumping using the effect of frequency-doubling in non-linear optics.
Nd:YVO4  lasers 1,064 um Laser diodes Titanium-sapphire laser pumping using the effect of frequency-doubling in non-linear optics.
Nd: Glass lasers ~1,062 um (Silicate glass), ~1,054 um (Phosphate glass) Puls lamp, laser diodes Lasers of ultrahigh power (terawatts) and energy (megajoules). Usually, work in the nonlinear mode of frequency tripling up to 351 nm in laser melting devices. Laser Thermonuclear Fusion (LTF). X-ray lasers pumping.
Titanium-sapphire lasers 650—1100 nm Other lasers Spectroscopy, laser rangefinders, research.
Tm:YAG lasers 2,0 um Laser diodes Laser radar (LIDAR)
Yb:YAG lasers 1,03 um Pulse lamp, laser diodes Material processing, ultrashort pulse research, multiphoton microscopy, laser range finders.
Ho:YAG lasers 2,1 um Laser diodes Medicine
Ce:LiSAF, Ce:LiCAF lasers ~280-316 nm Nd:YAG laser with  frequency quadrupling, Excimer laser, Hg-vapor laser. Atmospheric research, laser rangefinders, scientific research.
Chrome-doped alexandrite lasers Has a range of 700-820 nm Pulse lamp, laser diodes.   Arc mercury lamp for continuous operation Dermatology, laser  rangefinders.
Erbium-doped fiber-optics lasers 1,53-1,56 um Laser diodes Optical amplifiers in fiber-optic communication lines, metal processing (cutting, welding, engraving), thermal splitting of glass, medicine, cosmetology.


Uranium-doped calcium fluoride lasers (U:CaF2) 2,5 um Pulse lamp The first 4-level solid-state laser, the second operating type of laser (after the Mayman ruby laser), cooled with liquid helium, is not used anywhere today.
Zinc / cadmium chalcogenide lasers doped with transition metals (chromium, iron)  (TM2+:AIIBVI, Cr2+:ZnSe, Fe2+:ZnSe) Cr2+ 1,9-3,6 um, Fe2+ 4-5.5 um for Cr2+-doped active medium — laser diode, Erbium or Thulium fiber lasers, for Fe2++ -doped active medium  Er: YAG laser (2.94 um) Wide-bandwidth solid-state lasers, generation of femtosecond laser pulses

Semiconductor Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
Semiconductor laser diodes The wavelength depends on the material and structure of the active zone:

near UV, violet, blue – Ga, Al semiconductor nitrides;

red, near infrared range – compounds based on Al, Ga, As;

near and middle infrared range – compounds containing In, P, Sb;

Medium IR — Far Infrared — lead salts;

medium IR – terahertz range – semiconductor quantum-cascade lasers

Electric current, optical pumping Telecommunications, holography, laser designators, laser printers, pumping of other laser types. AlGaAs lasers (aluminum-gallium-arsenide) operating at 780 nm are used in CD players and are the most common in the world.

Other Types of Lasers

Laser working medium Wavelength Laser exciter Application
Free electron lasers The x-ray laser  wavelength ranges between 0,085 – 6 nm Bundle of relativistic


Atmospheric research, materials science, medicine, missile defense.
Pseudo-nickel samarie lasers X-ray radiation  7,3—15 um Radiation in a super-hot samarium plasma produced by double pulses of a neodymium laser. The first demonstration laser operating in the range of hard x-rays. It can be used in ultra-high-resolution microscopes and holography. Its radiation lies in the “window of transparency” of water and allows to explore the structure of DNA, the activity of viruses in cells, the effect of drugs.


Color center laser Wavelength 0,8—4 um Optic, flash lamp, laser lamp, electron beam


Spectroscopy, medicine.


based on Wikipedia and Marvin Weber.

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