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Laser Action in LiNbO(3)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000092587D
Original Publication Date: 1966-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-05
Document File: 2 page(s) / 31K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Burns, G: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Lithium niobate (LiNbO(3)) is useful as a host crystal for rare earth and other dopants to provide an active medium in a laser cavity. Preferred dopants are neodymium, erbrium, holmium and ytterbrium, but others work also.

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Laser Action in LiNbO(3)

Lithium niobate (LiNbO(3)) is useful as a host crystal for rare earth and other dopants to provide an active medium in a laser cavity. Preferred dopants are neodymium, erbrium, holmium and ytterbrium, but others work also.

Lithium niobate is the laser host crystal because it has very good elastic wave propagation and transducer characteristics! It is an efficient phase matchable second harmonic producer and has good linear electro-optical properties. In drawing A the LiNbO(3) host crystal 2, doped with rare earth ions, is plated with transparent electrodes 4 and 6. Crystal 2 is placed in an optical cavity. The pumping energy that is applied to crystal 2 is shown symbolically by arrows 8. When a voltage pulse from generator G is applied to crystal 2 via electrodes 4 and 6, acoustic waves are generated.

The acoustic waves diffract and scatter the lasing light in the optical cavity, lowering the Q of the cavity and quenching lasing. However, during this period that the Q of the cavity is being spoiled by the acoustical energy, ions of the dopant are having their population inverted by the pumping energy. When the voltage pulse is terminated, the inverted population is suddenly dumped and a giant laser pulse results. Amplitude modulation of laser outputs of the cavity, instead of giant pulse outputs, can be attained by changing the characteristics of the voltage applied to crystal 2.

In drawing B, a LiNbO(3) laser is particularly suited as a...