Abstract

Excited-state absorption spectra obtained by a pulsed pump–probe technique specially designed for the near-UV spectral domain were recorded in three Pr3+-doped fluoride crystals (KY3F10, LiYF4, and BaY2F8). These excited-state absorption spectra correspond to optical transitions from the  3P0 or the  1D2 metastable levels of the 4f2 configuration up to the first energy levels of the 4f5d electronic configuration. The position, the anisotropic behavior, and the line shape of the observed excited-state absorption bands are discussed and compared with ground-state absorption (from level  3H4) or direct excitation spectra available in the literature. Subsequently, two-step excitation into the 4f5d high-lying energy levels of Pr3 by means of  3P0 and  1D2 is shown to be an efficient way to produce broadband UV fluorescence by use of pump beams in the blue and the near UV.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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