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Growth and Characterization of Ni-Doped Garnets

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Several nickel-activated crystals have been lased in the past and have shown tunable output in the near infra-red (1.3-1.7 µm).1 However, the performance of these lasers is rather poor, and exploratory work including the preparation and spectroscopic characterization of new systems containing this activator must continue since there is so far no adequate material for tunable solid state laser systems in the spectral region where oxide crystals doped with Ni2+ emit. Oxide garnets are in general very good laser hosts, and most of them are, from the crystal-chemistry point of view, adequate candidates as crystalline hosts for Ni2+. However, several of the best candidates such as Y3A15O12 (YAG) , Gd3Ga5O12 (GGG) , and Gd3Sc2Al3O12 (GSAG), have octahedral sites occupied by trivalent ions, and when doping with Ni2+ a charge compensator is required to avoid creating undesirable color centers or for the purpose of achieving high doping levels. From ionic size and valence stability considerations, Zr4+ is the best choice for compensator. In our study of these systems we have concentrated in the development of growth conditions and the understanding of the spectroscopic characteristics of Ni, Zr:GGG and Ni, Zr:GSAG.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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