Abstract

We demonstrate optical power limiting by what we believe to be a new mechanism of nonlinear absorption, which involves a quasi-resonant ground-state absorption that is either phonon assisted or assisted by the presence of defect sites (tail absorption). Such a mechanism provides high transmittance at low intensity yet optical limiting under cw conditions. The sample used was a novel solgel-processed Er3+-doped multicomponent silica glass. In this system the nonlinear absorption process is achieved because the resonant excited-state (4 I 13/24S 3/2) absorption cross section is larger than the quasi-resonant ground-state (4 I 15/24I 9/2) absorption cross section.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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