Abstract

A fluorozirconate glass doped with trivalent ytterbium ions has been laser cooled <i>in vacuo</i> from 298 to 277 K by optical pumping of the ions at 1015 nm. The cooling effect arises from anti-Stokes fluorescence of the laser-excited ions and by virtue of the near-unit fluorescence quantum efficiency for Yb<sup>3+</sup> in sufficiently pure solid hosts. The sample temperatures in the experiment are determined by measurement of the Yb<sup>3+</sup> emission spectrum; the value of the observed temperature change from room temperature as a function of pump wavelength is successfully explained in terms of a simple two-level model that includes the effect of optical saturation.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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