A new class of solid state laser crystals and lasers are formed from Yb-doped borate fluoride host crystals. The general formula for the host crystals is MM'(BO.sub.3)F, where M, M' are monovalent, divalent aria trivalent metal cations. A particular embodiment of the invention is Yb-doped BaCaBO.sub.3 F (Yb:BCBF). BCBF and some of the related derivative crystals are capable of nonlinear frequency conversion, whereby the fundamental of the laser is converted to a longer or shorter wavelength. In this way, these new crystals can simultaneously serve as self-frequency doubling crystals and laser materials within the laser resonator.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.