A thorough investigation of optical losses for the 1064nm emission in Nd3+-doped lead lanthanum zirconate titanate (PLZT) transparent ceramics is presented. Thermal lens experiments were carried out to evaluate thermo-optical properties and the fluorescence quantum efficiency of the emitting level <sup>4</sup>F<sub>3/2</sub>. Excited-state absorption losses were measured in the emitting wavelength region, and the Auger upconversion energy transfer parameter γ was calculated. By using γ, the pump-intensity dependence of the optical gain at 1064nm, the fluorescence quantum efficiency, and the generation of heat in the ceramic were simulated for a high 803nm pump-power regime. Since the radiative and nonradiative losses in Nd:PLZT were verified to be considerably lower than in various commercial laser crystals and glasses, it is suggested that this material might become an interesting alternative for high-power laser emission.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 15, 2005
Revised Manuscript: June 15, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: June 16, 2006
Andrea S. S. de Camargo, Carlos Jacinto, Tomaz Catunda, Luiz Antonio de O. Nunes, Ducinei Garcia, and José Antonio Eiras, "Thermal lens and Auger upconversion losses' effect on the efficiency of Nd3+-doped lead lanthanum zirconate titanate transparent ceramics," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 23, 2097-2106 (2006)