Laser Beam Measurement and Characterization Techniques

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The uptake of laser micro- and nano-scale engineering in both industry and academia has led to the development and commercialization of a very wide variety of laser sources using different types of lasing materials and optical resonator designs, emitting laser beams at different wavelengths, pulse lengths, and intensity distributions. This has raised the question of standardization of the measurement methods required to fully characterize laser beams and to ensure consistency between the various manufacturers and research institutes working in this field. The full characterization of a laser beam requires measuring its inherent properties including its spectrum, spatial mode, intensity, temporal profile, coherence, wave-front, and polarization, and this typically involves time-consuming procedures and costly measurement equipment. Furthermore, measurement methods and instrumentation have to evolve each time a technological breakthrough leads to the introduction of a new type of laser or beam modulation technique. Thus, this chapter outlines the definitions of the beam characteristics and introduces the standardized methods for measuring and characterizing a laser beam, particularly for the measurement of ultra-short pulsed laser beams. The principle of operation of each instrument and characterization technique is detailed and example applications illustrated. The current challenges and future directions of these techniques are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Laser Micro- and Nano-Engineering
EditorsKoji Sugioka
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-63647-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-63646-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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