Laser Materials & Measurements

APS contributes to laser and nonlinear materials collaborations, with Clemson University, the US Army Research Laboratory, Blue Ridge Optics, and others. Our company has a robust laser materials research program, with a complete spectroscopy laboratory used to characterize new and legacy laser and nonlinear materials. Absorption and emission cross-sections can be obtained at room temperature and cryogenic temperatures down to about 77 K. We can also generate emission measurements in the range from 300-1700 nm.
Our collaboration with Clemson University involves the investigation of hydrothermally-grown laser and nonlinear materials, a particularly attractive crystal growth technology that is scalable, results in significantly lower growth temperatures, and minimizes the creation of voids and defects during growth. This is a perhaps the most viable growth option for sesquioxide laser materials that have traditionally been grown using other methods that need very high growth temperatures, exceeding 2000 ºC. Over the past six years, our groups have investigated scores of laser materials. Most notable amongst these are the nonlinear materials RBBF, KBBF, and KTP, and rare-earth doped laser materials that use as their base the crystals Lu2O3, Y2O3, Sc2O3, and LuAG. We have in addition grown and investigated co-doped materials such as Cr4+, Nd:YAG and Cr4+, Yb:YAG. Our collaboration also demonstrated the first epitaxial-like deposition of Sm:YAG layers on YAG, a technique that is promising for the suppression of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) and parasitic oscillations in Nd:YAG laser amplifiers and crystalline fiber amplifiers.

Figure 1: Photograph of Lu2O3 Host Laser Materials

In the Figure below, we show absorption cross-sections as a function of wavelength for the new laser material Yb:Lu2O3, obtained at five different temperatures: 80, 150, 200, 250, and 295 K.

Figure 2: Yb:Lu2O3 Absorption Cross-Section Data Obtained at Various Temperatures

Our spectroscopic absorption measurements are enabled using a high-resolution Shimadzu SolidSpec-3700DUV spectrophotometer with 0.1 nm resolution, and covering the spectral range of 175 to 2600 nm, as well as a 0.05 nm resolution Yokogawa Optical Spectrum Analyzer (OSA). Our spectrophotometers can be used to obtain absorption measurements from room temperature down to about 77 K. Emission measurements are obtained using a Horiba Yvon-Jobin HR1000 monochromator with a range from 300-1700 nm.
APS maintains an ever expanding database of absorption data for scores of laser materials. We are currently adding a number of new and legacy laser materials. Watermarked plots of absorption coefficients or cross-sections may be found on our Laser Materials page, and may be downloaded for free after Registration. Publication quality plots as well as raw numerical data for each laser material will also be provided upon request for a modest fee.
APS routinely supplies spectroscopic data to collaborators and customers. We can provide one-off or routine spectral measurements of most solid-state laser materials, including doping ion calibration runs and standard absorption spectra quality control runs.

Coming soon, our library of detailed absorption coefficient and cross-section data and plots will be available by download.

For further information regarding our spectroscopic capabilities, or to discuss a scientific, military, or commercial laser materials project, please contact:
David C. Brown, Ph.D