Lifetimes of two-color nonvolatile holograms recorded in undoped or in slightly doped near-stoichiometric lithium niobate and tantalate crystals were measured and compared by extrapolation of the high-temperature data. A proton-compensation mechanism dominated the dark decay and yielded similar activation energies, of 1.05 and 1.10 eV, for near-stoichiometric lithium niobate and tantalate crystals, respectively. The lifetime of holograms in lithium tantalate was 1 order of magnitude longer than that in lithium niobate with the same proton concentration, which was consistent with our theoretical estimation. The projected lifetime of two-color holograms in lithium tantalate without observable OH- absorption is longer than 50 years.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 13, 2004
Revised Manuscript: July 25, 2004
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2004
Published: November 1, 2004
Youwen Liu, Kenji Kitamura, Shunji Takekawa, Ganesan Ravi, Masaru Nakamura, Yasunori Furukawa, and Hideki Hatano, "Comparison of two-color hologram lifetimes of near-stoichiometric lithium niobate and of tantalate crystals," Appl. Opt. 43, 5778-5783 (2004)