Glass-ceramics are two-phase systems consisting of a base glass within which crystals are grown by heat treatment, a process known as ceramming. Recent progress on fiberization of these materials led to the demonstration of a rare earth doped fiber laser and amplifier with an efficiency uncompromised by the presence of the crystals embedded within the core of the single mode fiber.1 Transitions metal ions are notoriously inefficient when incorporated into a glass host, due to the difficulty of controlling the local environment, to which they are very sensitive. However to date, the properties of Cr4+-doped glass-ceramic systems have received little attention, despite the apparent advantages of crystal site control. This paper investigates the fluorescence properties of Cr4+-doped forsterite glass-ceramics and shows that many of the important characteristics of the single crystal are reproduced in the glass-ceramic system. Furthermore, many of the spectroscopic parameters are also observed in glass-ceramic fiber, highlighting the potential for a new class of fiber laser and amplifier made from transition metal-doped glass-ceramics.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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