Laser Crystals and Components - Laser Gain Crystals

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Laser Materials

Highly doped (50%) Erbium YAG is a well-known laser source for producing 2940nm emission, commonly used in medical [1] (e.g. cosmetic skin resurfacing), and dental [2] (e.g., oral surgery) applications due to the strong water and hydroxyapatite absorption at this wavelength.

Low doped (< 1%) Erbium YAG has been studied as an efficient means to generate high power and high energy 1.6 micron ‘eye-safe’ laser emission thru 2 level resonant pumping schemes. In these systems, fiber or diode lasers pump the ~1.5 micron ⁴I₁₅⁵₂ − > ⁴I₁₃⁵₂ absorption band, where non-radiative coupling between stark levels allows 1.6 micron laser emission with quantum efficiencies in excess of 90% [3].

Gallium Garnet

Laser Materials

Teledyne FLIR Laser Crystals and Components offers a variety of gallium garnet laser materials for your production and/or R&D efforts.

Dopant/Host combinations previously studied include:

• YSGG - Er, Cr activated YSGG is used in lamp pumped medical applications[1]
• GSGG - Nd, Cr activated GSGG is used for high transfer efficiency lamp pumped systems [2], [3]
• LuGG

Gallium Garnet crystals are available with a variety of dopant ions including Er, Cr, Nd, Yb, Ce, Pr, Eu, Ho, & Tm.


Laser Materials

Ho³⁺ ions doped into insulating laser crystals have exhibited 14 inter-manifold laser channels, operating in temporal modes from CW to mode-locked [1]. Ho:YAG is commonly used as an efficient means to generate 2.1-μm laser emission from the ⁵I₇ - ⁵I₈ transition, for applications such as laser remote sensing, medical surgery, and pumping Mid-IR OPO’s to achieve 3-5micron emission. Direct diode pumped systems [2], [3] and Tm: Fiber Laser pumped systems[4] have demonstrated hi slope efficiencies, some approaching the theoretical limit.


Laser Materials

The first operation of yttrium aluminum garnet doped with tri-valent Neodymium as a laser gain media was demonstrated at Bell Labs in 1964 [1]. Today, Nd:YAG has achieved a position of dominance among solid-state laser materials, being the most widely used lasing medium world-wide, with applications spanning medical, industrial, military and scientific markets. Nd:YAG lasers typically emit infrared light at 1064nm - however other transitions near 940, 1120, 1320, and 1440 nm are also used [2].

Space Grade Nd:YAG

Laser Materials

Teledyne FLIR’s radiation hardened “Space Grade” Nd:YAG is designed to handle the harsh high-energy environment of space, and has been the laser gain material of choice for several missions including: Exo Mars Rover 2022 (ESA), Lisa gravitational wave interferometer (ESA, NASA), and Osiris-Rex (NASA).


Laser Materials

Tm:YAG is used as an efficient means to generate high power 2.01 micron laser emission from the ³F₄ - ³H₆ transition, for surgical cutting and coagulation applications due to the high water absorption at this wavelength [1]. Diode pumping is commonly employed into the 785nm ³H₆-³H₄ absorption feature. Of interest in Tm³⁺ activated systems is the increased quantum efficiency obtained thru Tm-Tm ion cross relaxation; a non-radiative process where an excited Thulium in the ³H₄ state (energy level around 12900 cm −1 ) decays to the ³F₄ state (energy level around 6000 cm −1 ) and a nearest neighbor ground-state Thulium ion is promoted to the ³F₄ level, along with phonon byproduct to satisfy energy conservation [2]. Thus, in appropriate concentrations, a single Thulium ion excited to the ³H₄ level generates two Thulium ions in the ³F₄ upper laser level.


Laser Materials

Teledyne FLIR Laser Crystals and Components offers high quality Yttrium Orthoaluminate, also referred to as yttrium aluminum perovskite (YAP), doped with Tm, Nd, Pr, Er and Cr.

YAP´s hardness and thermal conductivity are similar to YAG, but exhibits a highly anisotropic thermal expansion coefficient and is birefringent. YAP is an orthorhombic negative biaxial crystal belonging to the D162h (Pnma) space group. Emission wavelengths are polarized, and emission and absorption cross sections are dependent upon the crystallographic orientation. Teledyne FLIR Laser Crystals and Components (along with references [1] and [3] below), use the Pnma space group convention for defining the crystallographic a, b, and c-axis lattice constants. Others (including reference [2]) use the Pbnm convention. In the table below, we related the two conventions thru their common lattice constants.


Laser Materials

LuAG (Lutetium Aluminum Garnet) is of particular interest as a material for diode pumped solid-state lasers employing active ions such as Yb, Tm, Er, and Ho. This host has the smallest lattice constant of the rare earth garnets and the resulting crystal field in LuAG yields narrower linewidths and higher absorption and emission cross-sections. The net effect is higher efficiency laser devices.


Laser Materials

Crystals doped with trivalent ytterbium (Yb³⁺) have demonstrated significant potential for application in compact, efficient, diode-pumped laser systems.[1-4] The Yb³⁺ ion has only two manifolds, the ground ²F₇⸝₂ and the excited ²F₅⸝₂ which are separated by approximately 10,000 cm⁻¹. As a result, Yb³⁺ doped materials have spectroscopic and laser properties that are advantageous for high energy 1 μm laser systems. In particular, Yb³⁺ doped materials should not suffer from concentration quenching, upconversion, or excited state absorption. The Yb³⁺ion also has a long energy storage lifetime (typically three to four times that of Nd³⁺ in the same host) and a very small quantum defect which reduces heat generation during lasing.

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