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What is a laser crystal?

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Laser crystals can transform the energy provided by the external cavity into an optical crystal resonator with high parallelism and monochromatic laser in space and time. It's the working substance of crystal lasers. Laser crystal by luminescence center and matrix crystal is composed of two parts. The luminescence centers of most laser crystals are composed of activated ions, and the activated ions partially replace the cations in the matrix crystals to form doped laser crystals. The activation of ion as part of a host crystal component, a self activated laser crystals.

The laser crystal is mainly activated ion of transition metal ions and trivalent rare earth ions. Optical electronic transition metal ion is in the outer layer of the 3D electrons in the crystal, the optical electronic vulnerable to the direct action of the surrounding crystal field, so in different types of crystal structure, there are great differences between their spectral characteristics. 4f electronic trivalent rare earth ions 5S and 5p by the shielding effect of the outer electrons, the crystal field of the effect is reduced, but the perturbation of the crystal field. 4f electron transition was forbidden to be produced, absorption and fluorescence spectra of narrowband. So the spectra of trivalent rare earth ions in different crystals are not as large as those of transition metal ions.

The matrix crystal used for laser crystal are mainly oxide and fluoride. As the matrix crystal in addition to the requirements of their physical and chemical properties of stability, easy growth of large size crystals with good optical homogeneity, and the price is cheap, but consider it with activated ion between adaptability, such as matrix and activation of cation ionic radius, electronegativity and valence should be as close as possible. In addition, but also consider the effect of matrix crystal field spectra of active ions. For some special function with matrix crystals, doped activate ions can directly produce laser has some characteristics, such as in some nonlinear crystal, the laser produced ions through the activation energy is directly converted into harmonic output matrix crystal.

The laser crystal is mainly activated ion of transition metal ions and trivalent rare earth ions. Optical electronic transition metal ion is in the outer layer of the 3D electrons in the crystal, the optical electronic vulnerable to the direct action of the surrounding crystal field, so in different types of crystal structure, there are great differences between their spectral characteristics. 4f electronic trivalent rare earth ions 5S and 5p by the shielding effect of the outer electrons, the crystal field of the effect is reduced, but the perturbation of the crystal field. 4f electron transition was forbidden to be produced, absorption and fluorescence spectra of narrowband. So the spectra of trivalent rare earth ions in different crystals are not as large as those of transition metal ions.


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