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A crystal chemistry approach for high-power ytterbium doped solid-state lasers. Diffusion-bonded crystals and new crystalline hosts.

Romain Gaume
Abstract : This work deals with ytterbium based crystals for high-power laser applications. In particular, we focus our interest in reducing crystal heating and its consequences during laser operation following two different ways. First, we review the specific properties of ytterbium doped solid-state lasers in order to define a figure-of-merit which gives the evaluation of laser performances, thermo-mechanical and thermo-optical properties. Bearing in mind this analysis, we propose a set of theoretical tools, based on the crystallographic structure of the crystal and its chemical composition, to predict thermo-mechanical and optical potentials. This approach, used for the seek of new Yb3+-doped materials for high-power laser applications, shows that simple oxides containing rare-earths are favorable. Therefore, the spectroscopic properties of six new materials Yb3+:GdVO4, Yb3+:GdAlO3, Yb3+:Gd2O3, Yb3+:Sc2SiO5, Yb3+:CaSc2O4 and Yb3+:SrSc2O4 are described. The second aspect developed in this work deals with thermal properties enhancement of already well characterized laser materials. Two different ways are explored: a) elaboration by diffusion bonding of end-caps lasers with undoped crystals (composite crystals). Thus, different composites were obtained and a fairly lowering of thermal lensing effect was observed during laser operation. b) strengthening of crystalline structures by ionic substitution of one of its constituents. We demonstrate how crystal growth ability can be improved by a cationic substitution in the case of Yb3+:BOYS, a largely-tunable laser material which is of great interest for femtosecond pulses generation.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 2, 2005 - 8:00:00 AM
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Romain Gaume. A crystal chemistry approach for high-power ytterbium doped solid-state lasers. Diffusion-bonded crystals and new crystalline hosts.. Chemical Sciences. Chimie ParisTech, 2002. English. ⟨pastel-00001100⟩

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