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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 5 — Mar. 11, 2013
  • pp: 6091–6100
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Growth, thermal properties and laser operation of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4: A new disordered laser crystal

Zhongben Pan, Hengjiang Cong, Haohai Yu, Li Tian, Hao Yuan, Huaqiang Cai, Huaijin Zhang, Hui Huang, Jiyang Wang, Qing Wang, Zhiyi Wei, and Zhiguo Zhang  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 5, pp. 6091-6100 (2013)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.21.006091


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Abstract

A novel disordered laser crystal Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 is characterized including its crystal growth, structure, thermal properties, inhomogeneously broadened spectra, and laser performance, which result that this crystal should be a promising gain material for the high-power ultrashort pulsed neodymium laser. The complete set of anisotropic thermal properties were systematically studied for the first time. It has been found that thermal contraction happens in the c direction and all the thermal conductivities increase with temperature, indicating a glass-like behavior. Polarized absorption and fluorescence spectra of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal were measured at 298.15 K and 77.3 K, respectively. The results show that both the absorption and the emission spectra of Nd3+ have been inhomogeneously broadened, and thus it is very promising to be used in laser systems to produce femtosecond pulses. CW laser operations at 1.06 μm along the three crystallographic directions has been demonstrated for the first time. A maximum power of 1.08 W with an optical conversion efficiency of 10.6% and slope efficiency of 12.4% was achieved in the a-cut sample.

© 2013 OSA

1. Introduction

Recently, the rapid development of ultrashort laser pulse technology has triggered great progress on the frontier of many fundamental sciences. It has now been found that ultrashort laser pulses have got wide applications in telemetry, microcosmic exploration, high-temperature plasma generation, etc [1

1. Y. Y. Zhang, H. J. Zhang, H. H. Yu, J. Y. Wang, W. L. Gao, M. Xu, S. Q. Sun, M. H. Jiang, and R. I. Boughton, “Synthesis, growth, and characterization of Nd-doped SrGdGa3O7 crystal,” J. Appl. Phys. 108(6), 063534 (2010). [CrossRef]

3

3. H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, Z. P. Wang, J. Y. Wang, Y. G. Yu, Z. B. Shi, X. Y. Zhang, and M. H. Jiang, “Continuous-wave and passively Q-switched laser performance with a disordered Nd:CLNGG crystal,” Opt. Express 17(21), 19015–19020 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Based on the uncertainty principle, the width of pulses is determined by the mode-locked frequency, which indicates that the gain materials should have broad emission spectra. Neodymium doped glass is one of the most commercial femtosecond laser gains due to its inhomogenously broadened fluorescence spectra. However, its totally disordered structure generates the unpolarized emission and relative poor thermal properties. In crystals, there is a kind of host materials named as disordered crystals. In their structures, there is partly replacement of the ions in the lattices which induces broad inhomogenously broadened spectra like glass and their crystal merits induce the better thermal properties and polarized emission. Therefore, the disordered crystal was considered to be promising candidate for the generation of femtosecond pulses and a substitute for Nd glass. For the instance of Nd:CNGG crystal, its absorption bandwidth (FWHM) near 807 nm is 7 nm, almost 5 times larger than that of Nd:YAG crystal; its emission bandwidth (FWHM) near 1067 nm is 17 nm, 30 times larger than that of Nd:YAG [4

4. A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, A. Guandalini, G. Reali, F. Cornacchia, A. Toncelli, M. Tonelli, K. Shimamura, and T. Fukud, “Optical spectroscopy and diode-pumped laser performance of Nd3+in the CNGG crystal,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37(2), 304–313 (2001). [CrossRef]

], and the mode-locked pulse is about 660 fs [5

5. G. Q. Xie, D. Y. Tang, H. Luo, H. J. Zhang, H. H. Yu, J. Y. Wang, X. T. Tao, M. H. Jiang, and L. J. Qian, “Dual-wavelength synchronously mode-locked Nd:CNGG laser,” Opt. Lett. 33(16), 1872–1874 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. With a simple hybrid of Nd:CNGG and CLNGG disordered crystals, the pulse of 534 fs was achieved and should be an inspiring result in the disordered crystal lasers [6

6. G. Q. Xie, L. J. Qian, P. Yuan, D. Y. Tang, W. D. Tan, H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, and J. Y. Wang, “Generation of 534 fs pulses from a passively mode-locked Nd:CLNGG-CNGG disordered crystal hybrid laser,” Laser Phys. Lett. 7(7), 483–486 (2010). [CrossRef]

].

Among the disordered crystal group, a new borate family Ca3RE2(BO3)4 (RE = Y, La, Gd) draws people’s attention, and Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 is one of current interest [7

7. B. V. Mill, A. M. Tkachuk, E. L. Belokoneva, G. I. Ershova, D. I. Mironov, and I. K. Razumova, “Spectroscopic studies of Ln2Ca3B4O12-Nd3+ (Ln=Y, La, Gd) crystals,” J. Alloy. Comp. 275–277, 291–294 (1998). [CrossRef]

]. In the lattice, the Re and Ca ions randomly replace each other generating their disordered structure. In the last few years, a lot of research work has been focused on the Yb3+-doped Ca3RE2(BO3)4 crystals and recently, a minimum pulse duration of 244-fs with a repetition rate of 55 MHz was obtained in the Yb:Ca3Y2(BO3)4 crystal [8

8. A. Brenier, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, Z. Y. You, Z. J. Zhu, and J. F. Li, “Diode-pumped laser operation of Yb3+-doped Y2Ca3B4O12 crystal,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(1), 013102 (2008). [CrossRef]

, 9

9. J. L. Xu, J. L. He, H. T. Huang, S. D. Liu, F. Q. Liu, J. F. Yang, B. T. Zhang, K. J. Yang, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, and F. G. Yang, “Generation of 244-fs pulse at 1044.7 nm by a diode-pumped mode-locked Yb:Y2Ca3(BO3)4 laser,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(1), 24–27 (2011). [CrossRef]

]. However, Nd3+-doped crystals of this family have not been systematically studied but are important for the possible generation of femtosecond Nd lasers. For Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4, although it has been known for many years, the important thermal properties and laser performance have not demonstrated up to now. We believe that this lack is due to the difficulty in obtaining suitable sized Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystals with good optical quality. Besides, the polarized spectroscopic properties were also needed to gain a better understanding of the lasing mechanism in Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 [7

7. B. V. Mill, A. M. Tkachuk, E. L. Belokoneva, G. I. Ershova, D. I. Mironov, and I. K. Razumova, “Spectroscopic studies of Ln2Ca3B4O12-Nd3+ (Ln=Y, La, Gd) crystals,” J. Alloy. Comp. 275–277, 291–294 (1998). [CrossRef]

]. In this paper we report the Czochralski growth of large sized Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal. The phase purity, lattice constants and effective segregation coefficient of Nd3+ in the as-grown crystal were measured. Furthermore, its complete set of anisotropic thermal properties and polarized spectroscopic properties were well characterized. The laser operation of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 was carried out along three different crystallographic directions and its laser performance was evaluated for future applications.

2. Experiment details

A Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 single crystal was grown by the Czochralski method under a nitrogen atmosphere containing 2% oxygen (v/v) in an iridium crucible. The as-grown Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal has an excellent quality (no scatter pellets can be observed under 5 mW He-Ne laser). Figure 1(a)
Fig. 1 (a) The as-grown Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal boule; (b) X-ray powder diffraction pattern of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal; (c) X-ray rocking curve of the as-grown Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 single crystal.
is the photograph of the as-grown Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal boule grown along the b direction. Its dimensions are about Φ25 × 32mm2. The Nd concentrations in Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal was measured to be 0.495 at.% by the X-ray fluorescence method.

Several samples with different sizes were prepared from this crystal boule for the experiments. The phase purity of the as-grown crystal was first checked by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD). As shown in Fig. 1(c), accurate unit cell parameters were further calculated by using the Pawley fitting of the whole powder pattern decomposition (WPPD) procedure in the TOPAS v.3 software. The background was fitted using a Chebyshev Polynomial of 8th order and the peak shape was assumed to be a modified Thompson-Cox-Hasting pseudo-Voigt (TCHZ_PV) function. The results show that the unit cell parameters are a = 7.2657 (1), b = 16.0444 (3), c = 8.6802 (1) Å, and V = 1011.88 (8) Å3 with an orthorhombic space group Pnma, Rwp = 10.141%.

The rocking curves were measured by using the high resolution X-ray diffraction method to test the lattice integrity of the as-grown crystals. The result is shown in Fig. 1(b), the full width at half-maximum (FWHM) values is only 29.34”. The diffraction peaks show good symmetry without any splitting, which indicates that the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 single crystal has highly excellent quality and is suitable for laser applications.

A thermal mechanical analyzer (Perkin Elmer model: Diamond TMA) was used to measure the average linear thermal expansion tensor components of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4. The sample used for the thermal expansion measurement was processed into a rectangular piece of dimensions 6.14 × 7.00 × 7.94 mm3 (a × b × c). The specific heat was measured by the differential scanning calorimetry method using a simultaneous thermal analyzer (Perkin Elmer Diamond: DSC). The thermal diffusivity coefficient was measured by the laser flash method using a laser flash apparatus (NETZSCH LFA457), from which the thermal conductivity can be calculated. Three square wafers used for the measurements with dimensions of [4.02 × 4.01 × 1.00 mm3 (a × b × c), 4.01 × 4.00 × 1.00 mm3 (a × c × b) and 4.00 × 4.00 × 1.01 mm3 (b × c × a)] were coated with graphite on opposite sides.

A cuboid with dimensions of 5.0 × 5.7 × 6.7 mm3 (a × b × c) was cut from the grown crystal. All the surfaces of the sample were polished for spectral experiments. The polarized absorption spectra were measured at room temperature by a V-570 JASCO ultraviolet/visible/near infrared (UV/Vis/NIR) spectrophotometer. Scan speed was 60 nm / min and sampling interval was 0.5 nm.

With the same sample that mentioned above, the fluorescence spectra from 850 to 1500 nm at room temperature and 77.3 K were recorded by a spectrofluorimeter (Edinburgh Instrument FLS920). The exciting source is a 450 W stable xenon lamp with the wavelength of 355 nm light. The fluorescence decay curve at 1064 nm was measured with the same spectrofluorimeter which was pumped by a 10 ns pulsed OPO laser (Opolette 355 II) with the wavelength of 355 nm.

With the laser samples cut along a, b and c directions, CW laser operations were demonstrated by using a plano-concave resonator. The laser experimental setup is shown schematically in Fig. 2
Fig. 2 Schematic diagram of the experimental laser setup.
. The pumping source was a fiber-coupled LD with the emission wavelength centered at 806 nm. The output beam of the LD was focused onto the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal sample with a spot radius of about 0.2 mm and a numerical aperture of 0.22 achieved by using a focusing lens. The length between M1 and M2 was about 17 mm. M1 was a plano mirror,antireflection (AR) coated at 806nm on the pump face, high reflectance (HR) coated at the range of 1020 to 1200 nm, and high-transmittance (HT) coated at 806 nm on the other face. The output coupler M2 was a concave mirror with a radius of curvature of 80 mm, and the output transmission is 2.0% at 1.06 µm. The samples were cut to the dimensions 3 × 3 × 6 mm3 and the 3 × 3 mm2 faces perpendicular to the a, b and c directions were polished. During the experiments, the crystal were wrapped with indium foil and mounted on a copper block cooled by water. The cooling water was maintained at a temperature of 10 °C.

3. Results and discussions

3.1 Linear thermal expansion

Figure 3(a)
Fig. 3 (a) Thermal expansion versus temperature; (b) Specific heat versus temperature; (c) Thermal diffusivity versus temperature; (d) Thermal conductivity versus temperature.
shows the thermal expansion curves of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 versus temperature. From the curves, it can be seen that the thermal expansion curves along the a- and b-axis are almost linear over the entire temperature range from 303.15 to 770.15K. It shows only thermal expansion, no thermal contraction occurs when the crystal is heated along the the a- and b-axis. However, the thermal expansion along the c-axis shows anomaly that there is not only thermal expansion but also thermal contraction within the measuring temperature range.

According to the measured thermal expansion curves, the mean values of the average linear thermal expansion coefficients along the a and b-axis were calculated to be aa = 2.27 × 10−5 /K, ab = 7.49 × 10−6 /K over the temperature range of 293.15-757.15 K, which shows large positive thermal expansion. Since the thermal expansion along the c-axis shows not only thermal expansion but also thermal contraction, the curve of c-axis was cut into two parts. The average linear thermal expansion coefficient of c-axis in the range of 293.15 K to 500.15 K shows a negative value of −4.36 × 10−6 /K, while in the range of 500.15 K to 757.15 K the average linear expansion coefficient was turned to be positive as 8.97 × 10−6 /K. The interesting negative thermal expansion makes the crystal suitable for many technological applications. The primary one is to be used as components of composites to adjust the overall thermal expansion of composites to some particular value [10

10. G. Wallez, N. Clavire, N. Dacheux, and D. Bregiroux, “Negative Thermal expansion in Th2O(PO4)2,” Mater. Res. Bull. 46(11), 1777–1780 (2011). [CrossRef]

, 11

11. V. Korthuis, N. Khosrovani, A. W. Sleight, N. Roberts, R. Dupree, and W. W. Warren, “Negative Thermal Expansion and Phase Transitions in the ZrV2-xPxO7 Series,” Chem. Mater. 7(2), 412–417 (1995). [CrossRef]

]. Additionally, it can be found that the linear thermal expansion coefficient value along the a-axis is 5 times larger than that along c-axis. Thus, there is a large anisotropy in the thermal expansion of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4. Therefore, to protect Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 from cracking caused by thermal expansion, a smaller cooling rate should be used during crystal growth, especially when the temperature dropped below the 500.15 K, the cooling rate should be slower because of the negative thermal expansion.

Additionally, a large temperature gradient should be avoided during processing and application. In this crystal-growing process, the cooling rate was chosen to be 30–40 C/h at the beginning and a cooling rate of 15-20 C/h when the temperature dropped to 500.15 K.

3.2 Specific heat

The dependence of the specific heat (Cp) of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 on temperature is shown in Fig. 3(b). It can be seen that the specific heat varies approximately linearly with temperature, increasing smoothly from 0.616 to 0.863 J g−1 K−1, when the temperature is increased from 298.15 K to 568.15 K. The specific heat of the crystal is 0.651 J g−1 K−1 (98.60 cal mol−1 k−1) at 330 K. In comparison with Nd:YCOB (82.4 cal mol−1 k−1) and Nd:YVO4 (24.6 cal mol−1 k−1) [12

12. C. Q. Wang, H. J. Zhang, X. L. Meng, L. Zhu, Y. T. Chow, X. S. Liu, R. P. Cheng, Z. H. Yang, S. J. Zhang, and L. K. Sun, “Thermal, spectroscopic properties and laser performance at 1.06 and 1.33μm of Nd:Ca4YO(BO3)3 and Nd:Ca4GdO(BO3)3 crystals,” J. Cryst. Growth 220(1-2), 114–120 (2000). [CrossRef]

], Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 has a relatively large specific heat. Since Nd:YCOB and Nd:YVO4 both have a high optical damage threshold [13

13. H. J. Zhang, L. Zhu, X. L. Meng, Z. H. Yang, C. Q. Wang, W. T. Yu, Y. T. Chow, and M. K. Lu, “Thermal and Laser Properties of Nd:YVO4 Crystal,” Cryst. Res. Technol. 34(8), 1011–1016 (1999). [CrossRef]

], it follows that Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 should also have a high damage threshold.

3.3 Thermal diffusion coefficient

The thermal diffusion coefficient aij of the crystal is also a symmetric second-rank tensor, analogous to the thermal expansion coefficient. Figure 3(c) shows the thermal diffusion coefficients of the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal. It can be seen that the thermal diffusivities along the a, b and c-axis decreases slowly with increasing temperature. At 295.35 K, the thermal diffusivity along the a-axis is 0.42 mm2/s, and along the b- and c-axis 0.44 mm2/s and 0.40 mm2/s, respectively.

3.4 Thermal conductivity

Figure 3(d) shows the temperature dependence on the thermal conductivities of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 along the a-, b- and c-axis, determined by using the formula k=λ×ρ×Cp here λ is the thermal diffusivity coefficient, ρ = 4.187 g/cm3 is the measured density, and Cp is the specific heat. It can be seen that the thermal conductivity of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 increases with increasing temperature, a behavior that is not typical of most crystals. When the temperature increases from 295.35 to 572.55 K, the thermal conductivity along the a-, b- and c-axis increases from 1.08 to 1.30 W/m-K, 1.12 to 1.45 W/m-K, and 1.03 to 1.35 W/m-K, respectively. Though the thermal conductivity of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 is relatively low, it is still larger than the Nd:glass.

3.5 Spectroscopic characteristics

The room temperature and low temperature (77.3 K) fluorescence spectra are shown in Fig. 5
Fig. 5 Fluorescence spectra of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4: (a) room temperature polarized emission spectra; (b) 77.3 K polarized spectra emission spectrum.
. The peak wavelength in the room temperature fluorescence spectrum for E//a is located at 1064 nm with a broad bandwidth (FWHM) of about 27 nm, while for E//b and E//c polarizations, the peak wavelengths are located at 1061 nm and 1062 nm, and the broad bandwidths (FWHM) are 27 nm and 30 nm, respectively. Additionally, compared with the room temperature fluorescence spectra, the values of FWHM in the 77.3 K for E//a and E//b polarizations are both 25 nm, while for E//c the value of FWHM is 26 nm, all of which show a very small change. The broad bandwidth is similar to Nd:glass (20-30nm), which can support pulses of less than 100fs [19

19. C. Spielmann, F. Krausz, T. Brabec, E. Wintner, and A. Schmidt, “Femtosecond passive mode locking of a solid-state laser by a dispersively balanced nonlinear interferometer,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 58(22), 2470–2472 (1991). [CrossRef]

, 20

20. F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, and U. Keller, Ultrafast Phenomena IX (Springer-Verlag, 1994).

]. Thus, such a large bandwidth shows that Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 may also possibly be used in laser systems to produce femtosecond pulses. Additionally, because of the relatively high thermal conductivity, the crystal can be even used in the high-power system [21

21. A. A. Kaminskii, Laser Crystals (Springer-Verlag, 1981).

]. It can be concluded that the broad room temperature absorption and emission bands together with the 77.3 K fluorescence spectrum show an inhomogeneous broadening behavior of the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal. Generally, the major broadening mechanism at room temperature is homogeneous broadening from the thermal vibration of lattice and inhomogeneous broadening from disordered crystal lattice. While in the low temperature, the inhomogeneous broadening dominates due to the weakening of lattice vibration. Here we can find that the inhomogeneous broadening behavior plays a decisive role, not only in the room temperature, but also in the low temperature. We know that Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal is a homology of Nd:Ca3Gd2(BO3)4, and the inhomogeneous broadening behavior in the Nd:Ca3Gd2(BO3)4 crystal has been discussed in our paper before [6

6. G. Q. Xie, L. J. Qian, P. Yuan, D. Y. Tang, W. D. Tan, H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, and J. Y. Wang, “Generation of 534 fs pulses from a passively mode-locked Nd:CLNGG-CNGG disordered crystal hybrid laser,” Laser Phys. Lett. 7(7), 483–486 (2010). [CrossRef]

]. Thus, we believed that the inhomogeneous broadening of the Nd3+ lines is also attributed to the variation of the local crystal field surrounding the Nd3+ ions resulting from the high degree of structural disorder in that Nd3+, Ca2+ and La3+ ions are randomly situated at three different symmetry sites in the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 structure [5

5. G. Q. Xie, D. Y. Tang, H. Luo, H. J. Zhang, H. H. Yu, J. Y. Wang, X. T. Tao, M. H. Jiang, and L. J. Qian, “Dual-wavelength synchronously mode-locked Nd:CNGG laser,” Opt. Lett. 33(16), 1872–1874 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].

3.6 Laser performance

Continuous-wave (CW) laser performances at 1.06 mm in three directions were demonstrated for the first time. The output power under various incident pump power values was measured using a power meter, and the results are shown in Fig. 6
Fig. 6 Average output power versus incident pump power along the a-, b- and c-cut.
. In can be seen that the a-cut sample shows the best laser performance among the three directions. For a-cut sample, the pump threshold is 1.5 W, and a maximum output power of 1.08 W at 1.06 µm was achieved at a pump power of 10.24 W. The optical-to-optical conversion efficiency can be calculated to be 10.6%, and a slope efficiency of 12.4% was derived from the linear part of the curve. We can also found in Fig. 6 that the output power in the three directions were not saturated, but because of the thermal effect, when the pumping power increased the values that larger than 10.24 W, 8.3 W and 8.9 W for the three directions, the samples used in the experiment were broken. Thus, if we try to reduce the thermal effect, we believe that larger pumping power can be used, so higher output power may be achieved. Additionally, the samples used in the laser experiment were not coated, and only one output coupling with 2.0% transmission was used in the experiment. Therefore, more efficient laser output can be realized if the samples and the transmission output coupling are optimized.

4. Conclusion

A large sized and high quality Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 laser crystal has been successfully grown by the Czochralski method. The unit cell parameters are calculated by Pawley fitting of the whole powder pattern decomposition (WPPD) procedure to be a = 7.2657 (1), b = 16.0444 (3), c = 8.6802 (1) Å, and V = 1011.88 (8) Å3 with orthorhombic space group Pnma. Furthermore, its complete thermal, spectroscopic and laser performance were reported. The average linear thermal expansion coefficients along the a- and b-axis were measured to be aa = 2.27 × 10−5 /K, ab = 7.49 × 10−6 /K over the whole temperature range of 293.15-757.15K. However, along the c-axis, it first shows a thermal contraction of −4.36 × 10−6 /K till 500.15 K, then turns to a positive thermal expansion of 8.97 × 10−6 /K up to 757.15 K. The specific heat was measured to be 0.616 to 0.863 J g−1 K−1 over the temperature range of 298.15-568.15 K. The thermal conductivity of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 increases with the rising of temperature, indicating a glass-like behavior. Polarized absorption spectra and fluorescence spectra of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal were measured at room temperature and 77.3 K, respectively. The results show that the absorption and emission spectra of Nd3+ are inhomogeneously broadened, which is attributed to the disordered structure of the host lattice. Such broad emission spectra suggest that Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 is very potential to be utilized in laser systems to produce femtosecond pulses. Due to the relatively large thermal conductivity, Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 crystal can be even used in the high-power systems. Finally, CW laser operations at 1.06 μm were demonstrated along the three crystallographic directions for the first time. A maximum power of 1.08 W was obtained with an optical conversion efficiency of 10.6% and slope efficiency of 12.4% in a-cut sample. All these results indicate that the Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4 is a very promising optical material featuring future laser applications.

Acknowledgment

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51025210, and 51021062), the National Basic Research Program of China (Grant No. 2010CB630702), and the Program of Introducing Talents of Discipline to Universities in China (111 program).

References and links

1.

Y. Y. Zhang, H. J. Zhang, H. H. Yu, J. Y. Wang, W. L. Gao, M. Xu, S. Q. Sun, M. H. Jiang, and R. I. Boughton, “Synthesis, growth, and characterization of Nd-doped SrGdGa3O7 crystal,” J. Appl. Phys. 108(6), 063534 (2010). [CrossRef]

2.

T. T. Basiev, N. A. Es’kov, A. Ya. Karasik, V. V. Osiko, A. A. Sobol, S. N. Ushakov, and M. Helbig, “Disordered garnets Ca3(Nb, Ga)5O12:Nd3+- prospective crystals for powerful ultrashort-pulse generation,” Opt. Lett. 17(3), 201–203 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, Z. P. Wang, J. Y. Wang, Y. G. Yu, Z. B. Shi, X. Y. Zhang, and M. H. Jiang, “Continuous-wave and passively Q-switched laser performance with a disordered Nd:CLNGG crystal,” Opt. Express 17(21), 19015–19020 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

4.

A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, A. Guandalini, G. Reali, F. Cornacchia, A. Toncelli, M. Tonelli, K. Shimamura, and T. Fukud, “Optical spectroscopy and diode-pumped laser performance of Nd3+in the CNGG crystal,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37(2), 304–313 (2001). [CrossRef]

5.

G. Q. Xie, D. Y. Tang, H. Luo, H. J. Zhang, H. H. Yu, J. Y. Wang, X. T. Tao, M. H. Jiang, and L. J. Qian, “Dual-wavelength synchronously mode-locked Nd:CNGG laser,” Opt. Lett. 33(16), 1872–1874 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

G. Q. Xie, L. J. Qian, P. Yuan, D. Y. Tang, W. D. Tan, H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, and J. Y. Wang, “Generation of 534 fs pulses from a passively mode-locked Nd:CLNGG-CNGG disordered crystal hybrid laser,” Laser Phys. Lett. 7(7), 483–486 (2010). [CrossRef]

7.

B. V. Mill, A. M. Tkachuk, E. L. Belokoneva, G. I. Ershova, D. I. Mironov, and I. K. Razumova, “Spectroscopic studies of Ln2Ca3B4O12-Nd3+ (Ln=Y, La, Gd) crystals,” J. Alloy. Comp. 275–277, 291–294 (1998). [CrossRef]

8.

A. Brenier, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, Z. Y. You, Z. J. Zhu, and J. F. Li, “Diode-pumped laser operation of Yb3+-doped Y2Ca3B4O12 crystal,” J. Appl. Phys. 104(1), 013102 (2008). [CrossRef]

9.

J. L. Xu, J. L. He, H. T. Huang, S. D. Liu, F. Q. Liu, J. F. Yang, B. T. Zhang, K. J. Yang, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, and F. G. Yang, “Generation of 244-fs pulse at 1044.7 nm by a diode-pumped mode-locked Yb:Y2Ca3(BO3)4 laser,” Laser Phys. Lett. 8(1), 24–27 (2011). [CrossRef]

10.

G. Wallez, N. Clavire, N. Dacheux, and D. Bregiroux, “Negative Thermal expansion in Th2O(PO4)2,” Mater. Res. Bull. 46(11), 1777–1780 (2011). [CrossRef]

11.

V. Korthuis, N. Khosrovani, A. W. Sleight, N. Roberts, R. Dupree, and W. W. Warren, “Negative Thermal Expansion and Phase Transitions in the ZrV2-xPxO7 Series,” Chem. Mater. 7(2), 412–417 (1995). [CrossRef]

12.

C. Q. Wang, H. J. Zhang, X. L. Meng, L. Zhu, Y. T. Chow, X. S. Liu, R. P. Cheng, Z. H. Yang, S. J. Zhang, and L. K. Sun, “Thermal, spectroscopic properties and laser performance at 1.06 and 1.33μm of Nd:Ca4YO(BO3)3 and Nd:Ca4GdO(BO3)3 crystals,” J. Cryst. Growth 220(1-2), 114–120 (2000). [CrossRef]

13.

H. J. Zhang, L. Zhu, X. L. Meng, Z. H. Yang, C. Q. Wang, W. T. Yu, Y. T. Chow, and M. K. Lu, “Thermal and Laser Properties of Nd:YVO4 Crystal,” Cryst. Res. Technol. 34(8), 1011–1016 (1999). [CrossRef]

14.

W. Koechner, Solid-State Laser Engineering (Springer-Verlag, 1998), Chap.2.

15.

L. G. Deshazer and R. J. St. Piorro, in Proceedings of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (Optical Society of America, 1992).

16.

Y. Sato and T. Taira, “Comparative study on the spectroscopic properties of Nd:GdVO4 and Nd:YVO4 with hybrid process,,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 11, 613–620 (2005). [CrossRef]

17.

C. L. Choy, W. P. Leung, T. G. Xi, Y. Fei, and C. F. Shao, “Specific heat and thermal diffusivity of strontium barium niobate (Sr1-xBaxNb2O6) single crystals,” J. Appl. Phys. 71(1), 170–173 (1992). [CrossRef]

18.

W. F. Krupke, “Optical absorption and fluorescence intensities in several rare-earth-doped Y2O3 and LaF3 single crystals,” Phys. Rev. 145(1), 325–337 (1966). [CrossRef]

19.

C. Spielmann, F. Krausz, T. Brabec, E. Wintner, and A. Schmidt, “Femtosecond passive mode locking of a solid-state laser by a dispersively balanced nonlinear interferometer,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 58(22), 2470–2472 (1991). [CrossRef]

20.

F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, and U. Keller, Ultrafast Phenomena IX (Springer-Verlag, 1994).

21.

A. A. Kaminskii, Laser Crystals (Springer-Verlag, 1981).

OCIS Codes
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(160.3380) Materials : Laser materials

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: January 7, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 16, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 16, 2013
Published: March 4, 2013

Citation
Zhongben Pan, Hengjiang Cong, Haohai Yu, Li Tian, Hao Yuan, Huaqiang Cai, Huaijin Zhang, Hui Huang, Jiyang Wang, Qing Wang, Zhiyi Wei, and Zhiguo Zhang, "Growth, thermal properties and laser operation of Nd:Ca3La2(BO3)4: A new disordered laser crystal," Opt. Express 21, 6091-6100 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-5-6091


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References

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  4. A. Agnesi, S. Dell’Acqua, A. Guandalini, G. Reali, F. Cornacchia, A. Toncelli, M. Tonelli, K. Shimamura, and T. Fukud, “Optical spectroscopy and diode-pumped laser performance of Nd3+in the CNGG crystal,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron.37(2), 304–313 (2001). [CrossRef]
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  6. G. Q. Xie, L. J. Qian, P. Yuan, D. Y. Tang, W. D. Tan, H. H. Yu, H. J. Zhang, and J. Y. Wang, “Generation of 534 fs pulses from a passively mode-locked Nd:CLNGG-CNGG disordered crystal hybrid laser,” Laser Phys. Lett.7(7), 483–486 (2010). [CrossRef]
  7. B. V. Mill, A. M. Tkachuk, E. L. Belokoneva, G. I. Ershova, D. I. Mironov, and I. K. Razumova, “Spectroscopic studies of Ln2Ca3B4O12-Nd3+ (Ln=Y, La, Gd) crystals,” J. Alloy. Comp.275–277, 291–294 (1998). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Brenier, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, Z. Y. You, Z. J. Zhu, and J. F. Li, “Diode-pumped laser operation of Yb3+-doped Y2Ca3B4O12 crystal,” J. Appl. Phys.104(1), 013102 (2008). [CrossRef]
  9. J. L. Xu, J. L. He, H. T. Huang, S. D. Liu, F. Q. Liu, J. F. Yang, B. T. Zhang, K. J. Yang, C. Y. Tu, Y. Wang, and F. G. Yang, “Generation of 244-fs pulse at 1044.7 nm by a diode-pumped mode-locked Yb:Y2Ca3(BO3)4 laser,” Laser Phys. Lett.8(1), 24–27 (2011). [CrossRef]
  10. G. Wallez, N. Clavire, N. Dacheux, and D. Bregiroux, “Negative Thermal expansion in Th2O(PO4)2,” Mater. Res. Bull.46(11), 1777–1780 (2011). [CrossRef]
  11. V. Korthuis, N. Khosrovani, A. W. Sleight, N. Roberts, R. Dupree, and W. W. Warren, “Negative Thermal Expansion and Phase Transitions in the ZrV2-xPxO7 Series,” Chem. Mater.7(2), 412–417 (1995). [CrossRef]
  12. C. Q. Wang, H. J. Zhang, X. L. Meng, L. Zhu, Y. T. Chow, X. S. Liu, R. P. Cheng, Z. H. Yang, S. J. Zhang, and L. K. Sun, “Thermal, spectroscopic properties and laser performance at 1.06 and 1.33μm of Nd:Ca4YO(BO3)3 and Nd:Ca4GdO(BO3)3 crystals,” J. Cryst. Growth220(1-2), 114–120 (2000). [CrossRef]
  13. H. J. Zhang, L. Zhu, X. L. Meng, Z. H. Yang, C. Q. Wang, W. T. Yu, Y. T. Chow, and M. K. Lu, “Thermal and Laser Properties of Nd:YVO4 Crystal,” Cryst. Res. Technol.34(8), 1011–1016 (1999). [CrossRef]
  14. W. Koechner, Solid-State Laser Engineering (Springer-Verlag, 1998), Chap.2.
  15. L. G. Deshazer and R. J. St. Piorro, in Proceedings of the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (Optical Society of America, 1992).
  16. Y. Sato and T. Taira, “Comparative study on the spectroscopic properties of Nd:GdVO4 and Nd:YVO4 with hybrid process,,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.11, 613–620 (2005). [CrossRef]
  17. C. L. Choy, W. P. Leung, T. G. Xi, Y. Fei, and C. F. Shao, “Specific heat and thermal diffusivity of strontium barium niobate (Sr1-xBaxNb2O6) single crystals,” J. Appl. Phys.71(1), 170–173 (1992). [CrossRef]
  18. W. F. Krupke, “Optical absorption and fluorescence intensities in several rare-earth-doped Y2O3 and LaF3 single crystals,” Phys. Rev.145(1), 325–337 (1966). [CrossRef]
  19. C. Spielmann, F. Krausz, T. Brabec, E. Wintner, and A. Schmidt, “Femtosecond passive mode locking of a solid-state laser by a dispersively balanced nonlinear interferometer,” Appl. Phys. Lett.58(22), 2470–2472 (1991). [CrossRef]
  20. F. X. Kärtner, D. Kopf, and U. Keller, Ultrafast Phenomena IX (Springer-Verlag, 1994).
  21. A. A. Kaminskii, Laser Crystals (Springer-Verlag, 1981).

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