Huntite Crystals for UV Nonlinear Optics and Self-Doubled Lasers
Small Business Information
310 Icepond Road, Bozeman, MT, 59715
AbstractNonlinear optical (NLO) materials play a critical role in current solid-state laser systems enabling broad tunability and operation at wavelengths not accessible by available laser gain media. At the same time, NLO materials limit the longevity andefficiency of these laser systems due to low damage thresholds, poor optical quality and small nonlinearities. As a result, new NLO materials are required to improve the performance of existing systems and to provide new combinations of optical andmechanical properties that yield new wavelengths. Specifically, there is a need for new/better NLO materials for use in high efficiency all solid-state lasers operating in the UV. Borate crystals, including BBO and LBO, are currently two of the industrystandards for this application. A new family of Sc-containing huntite borate materials, has the potential to replace these materials with increased transmission in the UV combined with larger nonlinearities. Based on preliminary characterization results,crystalline structure, and composition, congruent melting huntite crystals have the potential to enable new devices that require operation deeper in the UV. This Phase I SBIR project is aimed at developing two new congruent melting huntite NLO materials,and a new Nd-doped self-frequency doubling material capable of being diode pumped.The successful development of new congruent melting NLO huntite borate materials would have immediate widespread commercial application. Huntite crystals would competedirectly with both BBO and LBO primarily for frequency conversion into the UV, and rare-earth and transition metal doped huntites would provide new sources of compact solid-state diode pumped self-frequency doubled lasers.
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