Effect of XeCl laser irradiation on the defect structure of Nd:YAG crystals

             

Effect of XeCl laser irradiation on the defect structure of Nd:YAG crystals

Abstract

This paper presents the effect of XeCl laser irradiation on Nd:YAG single crystal samples with various number of pulses at different repetition rates and laser fluences. Effects of the irradiation on the optical and structural properties of the crystal are analyzed by UV–vis-NIR spectroscopy. Annihilation of some point defects of the crystal structure is observed following laser irradiation at a fluence of 100 mJ cm−2 with 100 and 500 pulses. Increasing the laser fluence and pulse numbers leads to saturation and new defects are found to be formed in the crystal. Additional absorption spectra of the irradiated samples show that oxygen vacancies in the Nd:YAG crystals are removed during the low-dose irradiation. The laser irradiation is compared to the thermal annealing process for Nd:YAG crystal modification. Additional absorption spectrum of an annealed sample reveals that induced negative absorption band at 236 nm is correlated with the annihilation of the oxygen vacancy center. Our results also demonstrate that XeCl laser treatment has several advantages upon annealing at high temperatures in the Nd:YAG crystal quality improvement. Thus, the present work can give a new approach to modify Nd:YAG crystals to be used in a wide variety of solid-state laser engineering.

Keywords

  • Nd:YAG crystal;
  • XeCl laser;
  • Oxygen vacancy center;
  • Optical property modification

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