Nano-colloids and nano-crystals doped with ions of rare-earth elements have recently attracted a lot of attention in the scientific community due to their potential applications as biomarkers, fluorescent inks, gain media for lasers and optical amplifiers. Many rare-earth doped materials of different compositions, shapes and size distribution have been prepared by different synthetic methods, such as chemical vapor deposition, sol-gel process, micro-emulsion techniques, gas phase condensation methods, hydrothermal methods and laser ablation. In this paper micro-crystalline powder of the rare-earthdoped compound NaYF4:Yb3+, Er3+ was synthesized using a simple wet process followed by baking in open air. Under 980 nm diode laser excitation strong fluorescence in the 100 nm band around 1531-nm peak was observed from the synthesized micro-powder. The micro-powder was pulverized using a ball mill and prepared in the form of nano-colloids in different liquids. The particle size of the obtained nano-colloids was measured using an atomic force microscope and a dynamic light scatterometer. The size of the nano-particles was close to 100-nm. The nano-colloids were utilized as a filling media in capillary optical amplifiers and lasers. The gain of a 7-cm-long capillary optical amplifier (150-micron inner diameter) was as high as 6 dB at 200 mW pump power. The synthesized nano-colloids and the active optical components using them can be potentially used in optical communication, signal processing, optical computing, and other applications.
Darayas Patel, Avery Blockmon, Vanesa Ochieng, Ashley Lewis, Donald M. Wright, Danielle Lewis, Rueben Valentine, Maucus Valentine, Dennis Wesley, Sergey S. Sarkisov, Abdalla M. Darwish, and Avedik S. Sarkisov, "Ball-milled nano-colloids of rare-earth compounds as liquid gain media for capillary optical amplifiers and lasers," Proc. SPIE 10100, Optical Components and Materials XIV, 1010009 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 30, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2248546.
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