Abstract

The room-temperature Stark splitting properties of Yb3+ are practical and valuable for lasers because the working temperature of the gain media intensively increases with the laser output. In this Letter, the room-temperature Stark splitting properties of Yb3+ in several popular laser glasses are contrastively studied. Yb3+-doped germanate (Ge), borate (B), silicate (Si), bismuthate (Bi), tellurite (Te), and fluorophosphate (FP) glasses exhibit large Stark splitting and tend to operate close to the quasi-four-level scheme, whereas phosphate (P) glass shows the weakest Stark splitting and tends to operate close to the quasi-three-level one. Due to the low thermal conductivity of the glass matrix, Yb3+-doped P glass suffers from serious thermal problems and is difficult to achieve high laser output. The Stark splitting is also used to estimate the crystal-field strength of glass hosts and local Yb3+ ligand asymmetry degree. The results show that P glass shows weaker crystal-field effect and lower Yb3+ ligand asymmetry than Ge, Si, and B glasses.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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