Tunable laser action in the visible spectrum has been established for what is believed to be the first time by use of dye-doped, polymer–silica nanoparticle gain media. The silica nanoparticles, ranging from 9 to 12 nm in diameter, appear to be uniformly dispersed in the poly(methyl methacrylate) matrix because the optical homogeneity of the gain medium is maintained. With Rhodamine 6G dye and 30% weight-by-weight silica nanoparticles, laser action was established in the 567–603-nm range. At the peak wavelength (λ≈580 nm) , laser conversion efficiency is ~63% at a beam divergence of 1.9 mrad (~1.3 times the diffraction limit). The new solid-state gain medium also exhibits a reduction in |∂<i>n</i>/∂<i>T</i>| .
© 2003 Optical Society of America
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.2050) Lasers and laser optics : Dye lasers
(140.3380) Lasers and laser optics : Laser materials
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
F. J. Duarte and R. O. James, "Tunable solid-state lasers incorporating dye-doped, polymer– nanoparticle gain media," Opt. Lett. 28, 2088-2090 (2003)