Abstract

We present a non-contact optical technique for the measurement of laser-induced temperature changes in solids. Two-band differential luminescence thermometry (TBDLT) achieves a sensitivity of 7  mK and enables a precise measurement of the net quantum efficiency of optical refrigerator materials. The TBDLT detects internal temperature changes by decoupling surface and bulk heating effects via time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy. Several Yb3+-doped fluorozirconate (ZrF4BaF2LaF3AlF3NaFInF3, ZBLANI) glasses fabricated from precursors of varying purity and by different processes are analyzed in detail. A net quantum efficiency of (97.39±0.01)% at 238 K (at a pump wavelength of 1020.5 nm) is found for a ZBLANI:1% Yb3+ laser-cooling sample produced from metal fluoride precursors that were purified by chelate-assisted solvent extraction and dried in hydrofluoric gas. In comparison, a ZBLANI:1% Yb3+ sample produced from commercial-grade metal fluoride precursors showed pronounced laser-induced heating that is indicative of a substantially higher impurity concentration. The TBDLT enables rapid and sensitive benchmarking of laser-cooling materials and provides critical feedback to the development and optimization of high-performance optical cryocooler materials.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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