Pr:YLF laser

How does a laser work – and why does laser light have such extraordinary properties?

In this course, the participants assemble Pr:YLF lasers from individual optical components, characterize their laser systems and use the lasers in applications.

½ day or full day, max. 12 participants

Öffnet internen Link im gleichen FensterApplication


  • Setup of the laser systems from individual components
  • Adjustment of the laser resonators and starting the Pr:YLF lasers
  • Investigation of Pr:YLF fluorescence
  • Determination of the lasers wavelength using an diffraction grating

Additionally for full day courses:

  • Measuring the mean lifetime of the exited electrons in the Pr:YLF crystals
  • Using the Pr:YLF lasers in applications (Michelson interferometer, measuring the speed of light, investigation of the coherence length, second harmonic generation)

Possible combinations for larger groups:
Öffnet internen Link im gleichen FensterHe-Ne laser, Öffnet internen Link im gleichen Fensteratomic physics, Öffnet internen Link im gleichen FensterX-ray physics, Öffnet internen Link im gleichen Fensterwave physics

Alternative course: 
Öffnet internen Link im gleichen FensterHe-Ne laser, Öffnet internen Link im gleichen Fensterlaser physics

Course description:

The course begins with an introduction into the fundamentals of laser physics. Here, the atomic processes relevant for light amplification by stimulates emission of radiation and the technical realization of this concept in a laser system are particularly addressed.
For the experiments, a praseodymium doped yttrium lithium fluorine (Pr:YLF) crystal is used as active laser medium. Pr:YLF exhibits an absorption maximum at 444 nm and an emission maximum at 640 nm. Thus, both the pump light and the laser light are visible allowing a reliable adjustment.
In the experiment, the participants assemble the condenser optics for the pump light, use back reflexes and fluorescence light to set up and align the resonators and optimize the gain to get their lasers operating. Using a diffractive grating, they measure the wavelength of the laser radiation and investigate the fluorescence spectrum of the Pr:YLF. They discuss their results in view of the energy level diagram of Pr:YLF and the laser process.
In full day courses, the participants additionally use photodetectors and oscilloscopes to measure the mean lifetime of the exited electrons in the Pr:YLF. With this data, they estimate the likeliness of stimulated emission. Additionally, they can use their lasers to set up a Michelson interferometer, investigate the coherence length of the laser light or measure the speed of light in a propagation time experiment. For selection of the experiments and questions regarding the course, please contact the team of the physics department.

Addressed topics:

Structure of atoms: charged particles, electronic shell, nucleus
Light as electromagnetic wave
Waves and quanta