Abstract

The absorption and emission spectra and the rate parameters for the important energy-exchange processes relevant to the  4I11/2  4I13/2 laser transition in Er3+-doped and Er3+, Pr3+-codoped GeGaS glasses are presented. The rate parameters are determined after optical excitation with a tunable pulsed optical parametric oscillator that excites the  4I11/2 and  4I13/2 energy levels directly. For the Er3+ singly doped samples, the energy-transfer upconversion (ETU) macroscopic rate parameters for the upper and lower laser levels were measured for a range of Er3+ concentrations. In correspondence with ZBLAN and the fluoride crystals, the (4I13/2, 4I13/2)(4I9/2, 4I15/2) ETU process of the lower laser level is measured to be stronger than the corresponding ETU process of the upper laser level. Such a condition enables energy recycling to occur. A higher rate of energy transfer from the  4I13/2 level of Er3+ to Pr3+ deactivator is measured as compared with the corresponding energy transfer from  4I11/2 level to both the Pr3+ deactivator and OH impurity. With these favorable energy-transfer conditions, the prospect for the future development of highly efficient ∼3-µm fiber lasers with GeGaS glass as the host material is excellent.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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