29 September 2019 – 03 October 2019 Austria Center Vienna, Vienna, Austria

Short Courses

Sunday, 29 September 2019
Complimentary Sessions (technical registration required)
Morning Session from 09:00 - 12:00  and Afternoon Session (parallel courses) from 14:00 - 17:00

To ensure admittance to your preferred course register as soon as possible. Space is limited and the complimentary seats will sell out.   To request a Certificate of Attendance after the conference, please email cstech@osa.org with your name, the course name, conference name, and year.


SC491: Ultrafast Lasers

09:00 - 12:00

Instructor: Rüdiger Paschotta, RP Photonics, Netherlands
Short Course Level: Advanced Beginner

Short Course Description: This course gives detailed insight into the operation principles and essential limitations of lasers for ultrashort pulse generation in the picosecond or femtosecond regime. Mode-locked lasers of different kinds, including particularly solid-state bulk lasers and fiber lasers, and the different active and passive mode-locking mechanisms used in those lasers are discussed in detail. For example, it is explained what kinds of saturable absorbers can be used for passive mode locking, and which issues arise in the context of fast and slow absorbers, including instabilities of the circulating pulses. Various numerical simulations are used for demonstrating relevant details, and typical parameter values as well as various performance limitations are explained.

Short Course Benefits and Learning Objectives:

This course will enable you to:

  • Understand the principles of pulse generation with mode locking
  • Name several factors which can cause instabilities in mode-locked lasers
  • Describe the essential differences between bulk laser and fiber laser technology
  • Identify various limiting effects for the performance of ultrafast lasers
  • Know essential methods required for the efficient development of ultrashort pulse sources


Intended Audience: This course is intended for laser engineers and researchers being interested in the development of ultrafast laser systems based on different technologies. They should already have some knowledge of optics and lasers.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta is an expert in laser physics, nonlinear optics and fiber technology, who has previously worked on ultrashort pulse laser technology as a researcher and is now working in his company RP Photonics Consulting GmbH, providing technical consultancy primarily for companies building or using lasers and related devices. Details are available on the web page https://www.rp-photonics.com/paschotta.html.


SC492: Laser Beam Combining


Instructor: Tso Yee (T.Y.) Fan, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, USA
Short Course Level:

Short Course Description: There is continuing interest in increasing the power and improving the beam quality of laser sources for a variety of applications including materials processing, pumping, power transmission, and illumination. One approach is to continue to develop improved lasers with higher power and good beam quality. Another approach, particularly relevant to semiconductor and fiber lasers, is to beam combine large arrays of lasers. Beam combining has become increasingly viable as the community has developed a better understanding of the requirements imposed by beam combining, and various implementations have been successfully demonstrated.

Key metrics for high-power arrays include the output power, the brightness, and the spectral width. To achieve high brightness, both high power and good beam quality are required. There are two approaches, wavelength beam combining (WBC) and coherent beam combining (CBC), to scaling the brightness by large amounts, in principle by as much as the number of elements. In WBC, the array elements operate at different wavelengths and a dispersive optical system is used to overlap the different wavelengths spatially. This is equivalent to what is done in wavelength division multiplexing for optical communications. In CBC, the beams are interferometrically combined, or phased.  If the beams are phased properly, then constructive interference occurs and the power can be combined into a single beam.

This short course will cover the fundamentals of laser beam combining, including requirements on the array elements, basic scaling laws, and implementations. Examples from the literature will be used to show the progress being made.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Fan is credited with seminal work in the laser beam combining area. He authored one of the most highly cited papers, has made numerous invited talks, and has several patents in beam combining. He was a co-recipient of the Berthold Leibinger Innovationspreis, First Prize for work on high-power, wavelength combined diode arrays. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society and a recipient of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Technical Excellence Award.


SC493: Emerging Solid-State Gain Media


Instructor: Christian Kränkel, Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung, Berlin, Germany
Short Course Level: Advanced Beginner (Basics in atomic and laser physics are recommended)

Short Course Description: Double-tungstates and -molybdates, garnets and sesquioxides in single-crystalline or ceramic form, fluoride and chalcogenide as crystals and glasses, CALGO and other disordered, mixed and tailored host materials: It is hard to keep track of the variety of existing and emerging gain media for solid-state lasers. Yb, Ho, Er, Tm, Pr, Cr, Fe and other doping ions enable an almost infinite number of material combinations, but up to now only a very limited number has found its way to commercial applications.

This course will introduce the most important material classes for solid-state lasers with their advantages and disadvantages. It will introduce the basic mechanical, thermal, and spectroscopic host material requirements for different doping ions and laser wavelength ranges as well as their interplay. Modern and existing gain materials for solid-state lasers from the UV to the mid-infrared spectral range will be evaluated with respect to these properties. It will turn out that in many cases simple rule-of-thumb estimations enable to rule out gain media while in other cases a closer look is required. The practical application of solid-state laser materials in real-world applications is also largely determined by the availability of these. To evaluate the potential of different laser materials in this respect, the course will also introduce some basics on their fabrication by different crystal growth approaches and reveal ‘tricks’ to tweak properties by tailoring the material composition.

Short Course Benefits and Learning Objectives:

This course will enable you to:

  • List the main host material properties required for lasers based on the most common active ions
  • Explain the advantages and drawbacks of different crystal growth techniques
  • Evaluate the potential of emerging and existing gain materials based on these properties
  • Discuss potential measures to tailor the gain media properties for the required application
  • Identify the most suitable (available) gain material for their intended application


Intended Audience: This course is intended to provide laser engineers, operators and developers in science and industry from PhD student to postdoc level with a working knowledge of solid-state laser materials physics and chemistry required to estimate the potential of gain materials for particular solid-state laser applications.

Instructor Biography: Christian Kränkel is a department leader at the Leibniz-Institut für Kristallzüchtung in Berlin, Germany. He has longstanding experience in the fields of laser crystal growth, optical spectroscopy, and the development of novel, tailored gain media for solid-state lasers. His research activities included 10 different rare-earth laser ions in a variety of host materials at laser wavelengths from the UV to the mid-infrared spectral range in continuous wave, q-switched, and mode-locked operation mode.