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4 October 1999 Optical power limiting in ZnO crystals
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We report optical power limiting in undoped single crystals of the wide band-gap semiconductor Zinc Oxide (ZnO). The ZnO crystals were grown at the Sensors Directorate of the Air Force Research laboratory using the hydrothermal method. The crystals are of high optical quality and are transparent in the visible part of the spectrum. The contributions of the real and imaginary parts of the third-order nonlinear optical susceptibility were studied using the Z-scan technique. The Z-scan experiments were carried out using picosecond pulses at 532 nm wavelength with the electric field polarization oriented orthogonal to the crystal c- axis. The nonlinear refractive index of the crystals is found to be negative. The ZnO samples exhibit two photon absorption and high damage thresholds. Our results indicate that the ZnO crystals may be good candidates for applications in optical power limiting and pulse stabilization.
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