II-VI binary and ternary chalcogenides (e.g. ZnS, ZnSe; CdZnTe, ) doped with transition metal (TM) ions such as Cr, and Fe are arguably the materials of choice for effective mid-IR lasers potentially covering 1.8-9 µm spectral range. This talk summarizes progress in 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, as well as Fe doped ternary chalcogenides with tunability potentially extended up to 9 um.
TM:II-VI media feature a unique combination of superb ultra-fast laser capabilities with high nonlinearity enabling exceptional output characteristics of polycrystalline Cr:ZnS/Se oscillators in Kerr-Lens-Mode-Locked (KLM) regime over 2-2.6 um and effective up and down conversion of fs pulses via random phase matching (RFM). Extension of mid-IR spectral coverage to 3-8 um is demonstrated by Cr:ZnS KLM laser pumped subharmonic parametric oscillators (OPOs) based on quasi-phase matching in OP-GaAs, and RFM in polycrystalline ZnSe.
Fe:II-VI semiconductors are complimentary to Cr doped compounds and 3-8 um KLM ultrafast oscillators based on Fe doped chalcogenides are feasible. Another important feature of Fe:II-VI media is excellent energy storage capability at 77-200K (~60 µs luminescence life time) enabling efficient Q-switched regime and high energy amplification of ns and ultrafast pulses.
One of the major problems in the development of CW, gain switched, Q-switched and KLM ultrafast Fe:II-VI lasers was the absence of convenient pump sources overlapping with absorption band (2.7-4.5 um) of Fe: gain media. Potential utilization of Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) as pump sources of Fe:II-VI lasers will be discussed in the form QCL-solid state laser hybrid platforms as well as Fe doped active layers integrated in QCL structures.
Sergey B. Mirov, Igor Moskalev, Sergey Vasilyev, Viktor Smolski, Mike Mirov, Vladimir Fedorov, Dmitri Martyshkin, and Valentin Gapontsev, "Mid-IR broadly tunable cw and ultrafast lasers sources based on Cr and Fe doped chalcogenides, subharmonic OPOs and potential quantum cascade: Fe:II-VI hybrid platforms (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10639, Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications X, 106392F (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 19, 2018; Published: 14 May 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2306515.5783297845001.
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