Abstract:In solid-state lasers, optical gain is achieved by using insulating crystals, glasses, or ceramics doped with laser-active ions. Depending on their operation wavelength, they are widely used in biomedical, industrial, and scientific applications. The first part of the talk will focus on the general physical characteristics of solid-state lasers, some of their applications, and different regimes of operation. In the second part, I will discuss some of our recent experiments aimed at the development of different continuous-wave and pulsed solid-state lasers operating in the near and mid infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples will include the Tm:YAP, Tm:YAG, Cr:ZnSe, and Cr:forsterite lasers. The presentation will further describe experiments in which carbon nanotubes and graphene have been used as saturable absorbers to generate femtosecond pulses from tunable solid-state lasers.