Abstract

The first experimental verification to the authors' knowledge of efficient two-step recording in a photorefractive and piezoelectric crystal of La<sub>3</sub>Ga<sub>5</sub>SiO<sub>14</sub>:Pr<sup>3+</sup> with cw laser light (I<20W/cm<sup>2</sup>) is reported. We found nonlinear behavior of the photorefractive sensitivity and photovoltaic current, indicating that the excitation process is connected to excitation of 4f<sup>2</sup> electrons of the Pr<sup>3+</sup> dopant through an intermediate level to the conduction band. This two-step nature of the photorefractive effect makes the crystal an exciting new candidate for applications in holographic storage.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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