Abstract

Tunable laser action in the visible spectrum has been established for what is believed to be the first time by use of dye-doped, polymer–silica nanoparticle gain media. The silica nanoparticles, ranging from 9 to 12 nm in diameter, appear to be uniformly dispersed in the poly(methyl methacrylate) matrix because the optical homogeneity of the gain medium is maintained. With Rhodamine 6G dye and 30% weight-by-weight silica nanoparticles, laser action was established in the 567–603-nm range. At the peak wavelength λ580 nm, laser conversion efficiency is 63% at a beam divergence of 1.9 mrad (1.3 times the diffraction limit). The new solid-state gain medium also exhibits a reduction in n/T.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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