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Optica Publishing Group
  • Advanced Solid State Lasers
  • OSA Proceedings Series (Optica Publishing Group, 1995),
  • paper SC17

New Materials for IR Frequency Conversion

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In recent years there has been a steadily growing interest in both fixed-frequency and tunable mid-infrared lasers emitting in the 3–5 micron spectral band. The successful development of high-figure-of-merit non-linear optical materials such as AgGaSe2 and ZnGeP2, with wide transparency and phase-matching ranges in the infrared, has been largely responsible for the advances that have been demonstrated. Each material suffers from its own limitations, however. ZnGeP2, despite its large nonlinear optical coefficient, exhibits a large defect-related absorption band which tails out beyond 2μm, thereby degrading the performance of optical parametric oscillators pumped by holmium lasers. AgGaSe2 also exhibits an anomalous absorption band around 2μm which, due to the material’s low thermal conductivity (30× lower than ZnGeP2), can introduce severe thermal lensing when pumping at high average powers. While improvements in crystal growth and post-growth annealing continue to lower the residual losses in these materials, it is important to search for new materials with higher nonlinearities and/or lower infrared losses.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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