We describe the preparation and spectroscopic characterization of diffusion-doped Fe2+:ZnSe and Cr2+:ZnSe. A three-dimensional diffusion model was developed and by using experimental absorption data, diffusion coefficients of Cr2+ and Fe2+ were determined at 1000 °C. Position-dependent absorption data were further used to determine the temperature dependence of the diffusion coefficient for Cr2+ in the 800-1100°C temperature range. Spectroscopic measurements show that fluorescence efficiency and emission lifetime decrease monotonically with increasing ion concentration in Cr:ZnSe. Finally, a pulsed optical parametric oscillator operating at 1570 nm was used to make lasing efficiency measurements in Cr:ZnSe. In gain-switched operation, 80-µJ, 1-kHz pulses were produced near 2600 nm with Cr2+:ZnSe samples.
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