Thermo-Optic Effects and Heat Removal

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Abstract

The optical pumping process in a solid-state laser material is associated with the generation of heat for a number of reasons: a) The energy difference of the photons between the pump band and the upper laser level is lost as heat to the host lattice and causes the so-called quantum defect heating; b) similarly, the energy difference between the lower laser level and the ground state is thermalized; c) since the quantum efficiency of the fluorescence processes involved in the laser transition is less than unity, heating due to quenching mechanisms takes place; and d) the broad spectral distribution of arc lamps or flashlamps is such that there is considerable absorption by the host material, mainly in the ultraviolet and infrared bands.