We report on a new method for determining dopant ion concentrations in laser materials. This method is based on optical absorption spectroscopy. In contrast to other methods used to measure the dopant concentration that are based on absorption measurements, this method does not require the knowledge of the absorption cross sections. An advantage of this method compared to the micro probe analysis is that only concentrations of dopant ions of a certain valency, which are luminescent, are detected. The method is sensitive especially for small doping concentrations of ions with high absorption cross sections. Another application of this method is the determination of the ratio between luminescent dopant ions to the total number of dopant ions in the case that not all dopant ions are on crystal sites that allow for optical transitions.
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