We report for what is believed to be the first time planar waveguide formation and propagation mode reduction in Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> crystal, which were achieved by 3.0-MeV silicon-ion implantation followed by annealing under specific conditions. After the implantation, an enhanced refractive-index region was formed with a width of ~2µm beneath the sample surface to act as a waveguide structure. We found that there were four propagation modes for the as-implanted Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> waveguide, whereas after annealing at 240–360°C for several hours the number of modes could be reduced to three, two, and one. After annealing at 400°C for 1 h the monomode waveguide was destroyed completely, and no mode was observed in the sample.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Feng Chen, Xue-Lin Wang, Ke-Ming Wang, Qing-Ming Lu, and Ding-Yu Shen, "Ion-implanted Nd:YVO4 planar waveguide: refractive-index characterization and propagation mode reduction," Opt. Lett. 27, 1111-1113 (2002)