Solid-State Ceramic Laser Material for Remote Sensing of Ozone Using Nd:Yttria
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Brimrose Corporation of America
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite E, Baltimore, MD, 21236-4968
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AbstractTunable solid state lasers have played an important role in providing the technology necessary for active remote sensing of the atmosphere. Recently, polycrystalline ceramic laser materials have become of great interest for diode-pumped solid state lasers. Compared to single-crystals, ceramic laser materials offer advantages in terms of ease of fabrication, shape, size, and dopant concentrations. We propose to develop neodymium doped yttria as a solid-state ceramic laser material for remote sensing of ozone. Neodymium doped yttria has emission lines at 914 nm and 946 nm. When these emission lines are frequency tripled, they correspond to ~305 nm and ~315 nm. These wavelengths are of particular interest since NASA is endeavoring to develop LIDAR devices for global monitoring that measure the differences in the back-scattered energy at two closely spaced ultraviolet wavelengths to derive a measure of the ozone distribution. Research has shown that neodymium doped yttria is one of the few materials capable of producing two wavelengths that, when frequency tripled, result in wavelengths around 305 nm and 315 nm. Thus, we propose a scalable production method to make spherical non agglomerated and monodisperse ceramic powders of neodymium doped yttria that can be used to fabricate polycrystalline ceramic material disks with sintered grain size in a suitable range. The polycrystalline ceramic material will be characterized for its suitability as a diode pumped solid state laser.
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