This study looks at the basic principles of optical parametric processes and recent results on the rapidly developing optical parametric device technology. The theoretical basis of stimulated and spontaneous optical parametric processes and detailed design considerations of optical parametric oscillators and amplifiers are discussed, followed by a review of the materials properties of the most important nonlinear optical crystals for such applications. It concludes with a review of the recent developments on practical low-repetition rate nanosecond optical parametric oscillators and broadly tunable high-repetition rate continuous-pulse-train femtosecond optical parametric oscillations from the uv to the mid ir.

Introduction to the Series -- 1. Introduction -- 2. Classical Theory of Optical Parametric Amplification -- 2.1 Phase-matching conditions and tuning characteristics -- 2.2 Parametric amplification as a repeated difference-frequency generation process -- 2.3 Coupled-wave and coupled-amplitude equations -- 2.4 Large-signal theory of parametric interaction -- 2.5 Bandwidth of the optical parametric process -- 3. Quantum Theory of Optical Parametric Processes -- 3.1 The field Hamiltonian for the optical parametric process -- 3.2 Transition probability and the initial and final states -- 3.3 Spontaneous parametric emission -- 4. Optical Parametric Oscillators -- 4.1 Oscillation threshold conditions -- 4.2 Large signal theory of parametric oscillators -- 4.3 Practical efficiency considerations -- 4.4 Parametric oscillator tuning and linewidth considerations -- 4.5 Optical damage -- 5. M aterials, Properties and Characterization -- 5.1 Material requirements -- 5.2 Material survey -- 5.3 Mid infrared OPO materials -- 5.4 Visible and near-infrared OPO materials -- 5.5 Visible and UV OPO materials -- 5.6 Additional remarks -- 6. Examples of Practical Optical Parametric Oscillators and Amplifiers -- 6.1 High-energy nanosecond parametric oscillators -- 6.2 Continuous-pulse-train, high repetition rate, femtosecond parametric oscillators -- 6.3 Picosecond optical parametric oscillators and amplifiers -- Index.