II-VI chalcogenides (e.g. ZnSe/S) doped with transition metal (TM) ions such as Cr, and Fe are arguably the materials of choice for fabrication of effective mid-IR gain media. TM:II-VI materials feature a favorable blend of laser spectroscopic parameters: a four-level energy structure, absence of excited state absorption, close to 100% quantum efficiency of fluorescence (for Cr doped II-VI media), broad mid-IR vibronic absorption and emission bands. This talk summarizes progress in fabrication of high quality Cr:ZnS/Se and Fe:ZnS/Se by cation vacancy and cation interstitial enhanced post growth thermal diffusion. We also describe recent breakthrough on recrystallization and effective doping of ZnS ceramics under hot isostatic pressing resulting in a large cm-scale monocrystalline domains formation and an increase of the Fe diffusion coefficient by three orders of magnitude.
We report recent advances in high-power Cr:ZnS/Se and Fe:ZnSe laser systems, enabling a wide range of tunability (1.8-5.0µm) with output power levels of up to 140 W near 2500 nm, 32 W at 2940 nm, and 35 W at 4300 nm with corresponding optical efficiencies of 62%, 29%, and 35%.
Current improvements of output characteristics of polycrystalline Cr:ZnS/Se oscillators in Kerr-Lens-Mode-Locked (KLM) regime are reported: up to 2 W output power at 75-1200 MHz repetition rate, up to 2 cycle pulse duration (16 fs) with efficiency of 20-25% with regards to Er-fiber laser pump power. The effects of efficient up-conversion of mid-IR fs pulses in the laser medium as well as supercontinuum generation are demonstrated.
Further extension of mid-IR spectral coverage to 3-8 m is demonstrated by Cr:ZnS KLM laser pumped degenerate (subharmonic) parametric oscillators (OPOs) based on based on quasi-phase matching in orientation-patterned gallium arsenide, and random phase matching in polycrystalline ZnSe.
Sergey B. Mirov, Igor Moskalev, Sergey Vasilyev, Viktor Smolski, Mike Mirov, Vladimir Fedorov, Dmitri Martyshkin, Andrey Zakrevsky, Ozarfar Gafarov, Jeremy Peppers, and Valentin Gapontsev, "Recent progress in mid-IR materials and lasers based on Cr and Fe doped chalcogenides (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10637, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XIV, 106370V (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 18, 2018; Published: 14 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2306528.5783272055001.
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Study of self-shadowing effect as a simple means to realize nanostructured thin films and layers with special attentions to birefringent obliquely deposited thin films and photo-luminescent porous silicon