Abstract

Irradiation of lithium niobate crystals with 41MeV He3 ions causes strong changes of the ordinary and extraordinary refractive indexes. We present a detailed study of this effect. Small fluence of irradiation already yields refractive index changes about 5×104; the highest values reach 3×103. These index modulations are stable up to 100°C and can be erased thermally, for which temperatures up to 500°C are required. A direct correlation between the refractive index changes and the produced lattice vacancies is found.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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