Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Physics


Department of Engineering Physics

First Advisor

Matthew J. Bohn, PhD


This thesis discusses the work to make ultrashort pulsed lasers smaller and more economical. While sharing many of the basic properties of normal beam optics there are some specific properties in both creating and exploiting those pulses that must be understood. The discussion will focus on mode locking as the primary way of producing ultrashort pulses. Particular attention will be paid to intracavity group velocity dispersion and how to correct it inside the cavity. The discussion then turns to the basis of our work including initial cavity design and component selection with focus on the specific crystals used in the solid state laser. The rest of the experiment setup is based on evolution of the designs in order to get the systems lasing and then mode locked. Results from the work on the small cavity systems are compared to data taken from a commercial titanium-sapphire laser with emphasis on current measurement techniques. Overall conclusions include the impact of both equipment and the crystals used in the solid state cavity to generate ultrashort pulses. While not fully successful, the groundwork has been laid for future research.

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DTIC Accession Number