Tasoltan Tazretovich Basiev, an OSA Fellow known for his work
in solid-state lasers, passed away on 26
February 2012 in Moscow, Russia. He
Basiev was director of the A.M.
Prokhorov General Physics Institute’s
laser materials and photonics department and scientific deputy director
of the Institute’s Laser Materials and
Technology Research Center.
He was born in Moscow in 1947.
In 1972, after receiving an M.S. in
electrical engineering from the Moscow
Power Engineering Institute-Technical
University, he was named staff research
physicist in the mono-crystal division
of the P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute
of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences,
where he was actively engaged in laser
spectroscopy and solid-state physics.
From 1972 to 1984, Basiev progressed from staff research physicist
to group leader involved in solid-state
selective laser spectroscopy, the area of
solid-state physics in which his work
was most outstanding.
In 1977, he received a Ph.D. in
physics and mathematics from the P.N.
Lebedev Physical Institute Academy
of Sciences. He was awarded a doctor
of science in physics and mathematics (Habilitation) in 1984. He was
an adjunct professor at the Moscow
Physical Technical Institute from 1982
to 1991 and a professor in solid-state
physics beginning in 1991.
Basiev played a key role in the study
and application of lithium fluoride color
center crystals for tunable near-infrared
lasers. As a result of his contributions,
scientists designed and fabricated large
quantities of high figure-of-merit color-center crystals and tunable lasers with
world record output characteristics.
Basiev pioneered methods for
developing new laser crystals combining gain and self-stimulated Raman
scattering features. He found a relationship between the optical parameters
of stimulated Raman scattering and a
structure of complex anion and cation
groups in these crystals. These new
self-Raman laser media with a record
gain were the basis of a large number
of developed pico- and nanosecond
Raman lasers operating in various
ranges of the optical spectrum with
energy in excess of one joule and peak
power of dozens of megawatts.
Basiev actively participated in the
development of physical-chemical
methods for new middle-infrared
laser media. Due in part to his efforts,
researchers developed sub-nanoscale
complexes of rare earth ions coherently
related via quadropole-quadrapole interactions. This work was important for
Basiev also initiated research on laser
ceramics at the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences
(RAS), resulting in the development of
unique fluoride laser ceramics.
He was awarded the Lenin Komsomol Prize (the U.S.S.R.’s first national
prize for young scientists) in 1976.
A decade later, he received the International Prize of the U.S.S.R. and
Hungarian Academy of Sciences for his
outstanding contributions to solid-state
and laser physics. Among his other
awards were the General Physics Institute Prize for Scientific Research (1985,
1989, 2009); A.M. Prokhorov Academy
of Engineering Sciences Gold Medal
(2003); and the President’s Fellowship
for Outstanding Russian Scientists
(2003, 2000, 1997, 1994).
He was a member of the Russian
and Moscow Optical Societies, a member of the European Physical Society,
a Fellow of the Optical Society; an
Erskine Fellow of Canterbury University, New Zealand; a member of the
A.M. Prokhorov Engineering Science
Academy; a corresponding member of
the RAS; and an editor of the Journal of
Optical Materials. He contributed more
than 400 peer-reviewed articles, three
books and more than 40 reviews. He
held nearly 30 patents.
Basiev is survived by his wife and
If you would like to make a memorial
donation to the OSA Foundation in
honor of Tasoltan Basiev, please visit