Abstract

Pure and Er-doped ([Er]crystal2.4×1020cm3), NaBi(WO4)2 (NBW), NaBi(MoO4)2, and LiBi(MoO4)2 crystals have been grown by the Czochralski method. The three crystal hosts have similar structural and optical properties. The noncentrosymmetric space group I4¯ (No. 82) crystallographic structure has been established through 300K single-crystal x-ray and neutron (for NBW only) diffraction. Er3+ energy levels were determined experimentally and simulated in the S4 symmetry through a crystal-field analysis. With this background, the large spectroscopic bandwidths observed were ascribed to the presence of two 2b and 2d sites for Er3+ and to different short-range Na+ and Bi3+ distributions around both sites. The radiative properties of Er3+ are described by the Judd–Ofelt theory achieving branching ratios and radiative lifetimes for transitions useful as laser channels. The I1324I1524 laser channel (λ1.5μm) shows a peak emission cross-section σEMI (λ1530nm)0.5×1020cm2 and a quantum efficiency η0.68 to 0.74. The laser emission is envisaged to be tunable by Δλ100nm.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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