We have studied the processes of photocoloration and discoloration in Mn:YAlO<sub>3</sub> and relevant crystals. We show the following: (1) The coloration rate in Mn:YAlO<sub>3</sub> does not depend on Mn concentration. (2) The effective recombination time of free electrons with Mn<sup>5+</sup> ions and deep traps is of the order of ≈0.5 ms. (3) The rate of photocoloration increases with an increase in temperature. (4) The discoloration kinetics in Mn:YAlO<sub>3</sub> are strongly nonexponential. At room temperature the effective discoloration time approximates 120 years. (5) At increased temperatures the discoloration kinetics accelerate dramatically. (6) We have grown and characterized Mn:GdAlO<sub>3</sub> and Mn:YbAlO<sub>3</sub> crystals. The activation energy in these crystals is much larger than that in Mn:YAlO<sub>3</sub>. This suggests the great potential of MnYbAlO<sub>3</sub> and Mn:GdAlO<sub>3</sub> in terms of permanent data storage.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(160.5320) Materials : Photorefractive materials
M. A. Noginov, G. B. Loutts, K. Ross, T. Grandy, N. Noginova, B. D. Lucas, and T. Mapp, "Role of traps in photocoloration of Mn:YAlO3," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 18, 931-941 (2001)