Abstract

The two-color photorefractive response of near stoichiometric lithium niobate (SLN) doped with Mg above a critical threshold has been investigated. Striking differences as compared with non Mg-doped material were observed: The intermediate level in the two-color writing process has approximately a two orders of magnitude longer lifetime in SLN:Mg than in nominally undoped SLN, the grating is written in a shallower level but can be fixed via a simple thermal process and complementary electron-hole gratings are formed. It is proposed that the Fe impurity level moves from below the small-polaron level in nonMgO-doped material to above it, resulting in the increased lifetime of the small polaron. These changes are associated with a shift of the Fe from a Li site to a Nb site. The two-color sensitivity is higher than in the absence of MgO but the dynamic range is much lower.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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