The spectral and luminescence properties of highly refractive thulium-doped laser oxide glasses (germanate, antimony-silicate, tellurite, and bismuth glasses) have been studied in the near-IR region, 1.4-1.8 µm. The absorption cross sections from the ground and excited states and the stimulated-emission cross sections are determined and compared, along with the Judd-Ofelt parameters, the radiative lifetime, the luminescence damping time, the luminescence quantum yield, and the gain/loss spectrum. Cross-relaxation luminescence quenching is detected at a wavelength of 1.47 µm. The pump-probe method with double modulation and McCumber's calculational method are used to determine the contour of the absorption cross section from the excited state on the transition 3F4 ---> 3H4. The gain/loss spectra are determined for the glasses of interest. It is concluded that antimony-silicate glass is the most promising for creating optical-fiber light amplifiers in the 1.47-µm region. © 2003 Optical Society of America

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