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Low-phonon-frequency chalcogenide crystalline hosts for rare earth lasers operating beyond three microns

United States Patent

April 4, 2000
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
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The invention comprises a RE-doped MA.sub.2 X.sub.4 crystalline gain medium, where M includes a divalent ion such as Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Pb, Eu, or Yb; A is selected from trivalent ions including Al, Ga, and In; X is one of the chalcogenide ions S, Se, and Te; and RE represents the trivalent rare earth ions. The MA.sub.2 X.sub.4 gain medium can be employed in a laser oscillator or a laser amplifier. Possible pump sources include diode lasers, as well as other laser pump sources. The laser wavelengths generated are greater than 3 microns, as becomes possible because of the low phonon frequency of this host medium. The invention may be used to seed optical devices such as optical parametric oscillators and other lasers.
Payne; Stephen A. (Castro Valley, CA), Page; Ralph H. (San Ramon, CA), Schaffers; Kathleen I. (Pleasanton, CA), Nostrand; Michael C. (Livermore, CA), Krupke; William F. (Pleasanton, CA), Schunemann; Peter G. (Malden, MA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
09/ 235,650
January 22, 1999
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.