A very strong nonlinearity in the temperature dependence of the luminescence quantum yield in the Cr:LiSrGaF6 and Cr:LiSrAlF6 laser crystal can lead to a temperature induced intrinsic optical bistability in these materials. The bistability and the hysteresis loop in the dependence of the Cr luminescence intensity and the transmission of the crystal on cw pumping power has been theoretically predicted and experimentally observed. The experimental results are in a good agreement with the theoretical prediction.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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