Laser Instrumentation

Boise Technology's Laser Facility houses two ultrafast amplified Ti:sapphire laser systems.

The first laser system is a Spectra-Physics based laser that is equipped with a tunable UV/VIS/IR optical parametric amplifier (OPA) (Light Conversion, TOPAS-C).  The Topas is a fully automated tunable OPA.  The OPA generates continuously tunable pulses from ~290 nm to ~2.9 µm with pulse energies ranging from 10 µJ per pulse up to 200µJ per pulse.  A noncollinear difference frequency generator (NDFG) unit is used to produce mid-IR laser pulses in the 2.5-10 µm region with a spectral bandwidth of over 150 cm-1 FWHM.  This laser system is used as the excitation source for various experimental studies. Most notably the laser system is configured as a light source for a broadband vibrational sum frequency generation (VSFG) spectrometer capable of collecting broadband (over ~150 cm-1 bandwidth) surface IR spectra of molecular species with every incident pulse pair.  However we have combined multiple wavelength regions to produce contiguous spectra spanning over 800 cm-1. We employ a 1/3 meter imaging spectrograph and a high sensitivity deep-depleted back-illuminated CCD detector for signal collection and discrimination.

System 1:

 

The second laser system is a Coherent Inc. based laser that is similar to that described above, although this system has been developed to include the latest innovations in laser technology.  These include a high power (>3.8 mJ) one-box Ti:sapphire pump laser for pointing and noise stability, a one-box OPA with DFG capabilities that expands our tuning range out to 20 µm, and various individual innovations that effectively extend its capabilities. This laser system is primarily used as a light source for a second VSFG spectrometer.  Due to the incorporation of various commercial and in-house innovations, this VSFG spectrometer exceeds the performance of VSFG spectrometers currently being used for research throughout the nation.

System 2:

 
 
 
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