Abstract

A detailed experimental study of dispersion and anisotropy of thermo-optic coefficients dn/dT and thermal coefficients of the optical path W=dn/dT+(n1)α is performed for tetragonal YVO4 and GdVO4 laser host crystals by a laser beam deviation method. It is supported by theoretical description of thermo-optic effects, taking into account the volumetric thermal expansion effect and the temperature dependence of electronic bandgap Eg. Linear thermal expansion coefficients α were also determined by a dilatometric technique. Thermo-optic dispersion formulas describing temperature variation of the refractive index and the thermal lens effect are derived for a wide spectral range of 0.4–2 μm. It allows us to estimate the values of Eg and dEg/dT for the studied crystals. The influence of materials parameters and pumping conditions on thermal lens properties is discussed, revealing the significant impact of anisotropic and temperature-dependent thermal conductivity.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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