We have performed several physical and optical measurements on the Cr:LiSAF (LiSrAlF6) laser material that are relevant to its laser performance, including thermal and mechanical properties, water durabilities, and Auger upconversion constants. The expansion coefficient, Young’s modulus, fracture toughness, thermal conductivity, and heat capacity are all used to determine an overall thermomechanical figure of merit for the crystal. An investigation of the water durability suggests that the cooling solution should be maintained at pH = 7 to ameliorate problems associated with water dissolution. The Auger constant was found to become much more significant at higher Cr doping, in which excited-state migration leads to a substantial increase in the upconversion rate. We propose a design for a 50-W Cr:LiSAF laser system that is based on a detailed knowledge of all the relevant material parameters.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: June 14, 1993
Revised Manuscript: January 6, 1994
Published: August 20, 1994
Stephen A. Payne, Larry K. Smith, Raymond J. Beach, Bruce H. T. Chai, John H. Tassano, Laura D. DeLoach, Wayne L. Kway, Richard W. Solarz, and William F. Krupke, "Properties of Cr:LiSrAlF6 crystals for laser operation," Appl. Opt. 33, 5526-5536 (1994)