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Research Area 9 Materials Science: Anisotropic Microstructurally-engineered Polycrystals for increased Laser Energy (AMPLE)

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Technical Report,01 Oct 2016,30 Sep 2018

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University of California - San Diego La Jolla United States

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The overall goal of this project is to replace the typical cubic oxides traditionally used as gain media with a much higher conductivity rare earth RE doped aluminum nitride AlN, i.e. to develop RE doped aluminum nitride ceramics as viable lasing media. Our approach is to consolidate nitride powder to full density without significantly increasing the grain size using current activated pressure assisted densification CAPAD. In this project we made significant progress toward our goals. We have now successfully doped Tb, Nd, Eb and Tm into Al2O3 and AlN and demonstrated emission over the entire range of 1 to 2 micrometers. We showed very high thermal conductivities 90 Wm.K compared to aaprox10 Wm.K for the state of the art. Perhaps the most noteworthy accomplishment was demonstrating and quantifying optical gain in our ceramics in NdAl2O3, proving that they are viable laser ceramics. This achievement represents a new paradigm of laser ceramics and unambiguously shows that ceramics non-cubic crystal structures can be used for gain media. These materials are promising gain materials for high average power lasers. This achievement received significant worldwide media attention,, Materials Today, etc.

Subject Categories:

  • Lasers and Masers
  • Crystallography
  • Optics

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