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Thermomechanical and thermo-optical properties of the LiCaAlF6:Cr3+ laser material

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Abstract

Measurements of the intrinsic thermomechanical and thermo-optical properties of the new laser material LiCaAlF6:Cr3+ (known as Cr:LiCAF) are performed. Thermal diffusivity, heat capacity, thermal expansion, elastic constants, fracture toughness, and dispersion and temperature variation of the refractive index are all characterized for this material. In addition, the magnitude of the thermal lensing induced in a flash-lamp-pumped laser rod of Cr:LiCAF is measured and compared with the results obtained for an alexandrite laser rod in the same laser head. We find that the thermal lensing of Cr:LiCAF is favorably small and that the thermomechanical properties are expected to be adequate for applications at low and medium average power.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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