An attempt has been conducted to develop multicomponent transparent glass-ceramics which have athermal property better than silica glass. Transparent Li2O-Al2O3-SiO2 (LAS) glass-ceramics with small thermal expansion coefficient was chosen as a candidate. Athermal property of the glass-ceramics was improved by the independent control of temperature coefficients of electronic polarizability and thermal expansion coefficient, both of which govern the temperature coefficient of optical path length. It was found that temperature coefficient of electronic polarizability and thermal expansion coefficient of the LAS glass-ceramics were controllable by the additives and crystallization conditions. The doping of B2O3 and the crystallization under a hydrostatic pressure of 196 MPa were very effective to reduce temperature coefficient of electronic polarizability without a remarkable increase in thermal expansion coefficient. It was deduced that the reduction in temperature coefficient of electronic polarizability by the crystallization under 196 MPa resulted from the inhibition of the precipitation of beta-spodumene solid solution. The relative temperature coefficients of optical path length of B2O3-doped glass-ceramic crystallized under 196 MPa was 11.7 x 10-6/°C, which was slightly larger than that of silica glass. Nevertheless, the thermal expansion coefficient of this glass-ceramic was smaller than that of silica glass.
Operation of laser diode and flash lamp pumped Nd:YAG lasers mode locked with two different types of semiconductor saturable absorbers is reported. In the first type that is used mainly in diode pumped systems the absorber layers are integrated on highly reflective Bragg mirror. The second type is for use in transmission mode inside the resonator. Different design of semiconductor elements, pumping geometries and resonator configurations were investigated and characteristics of laser operation in mode-locked regime are presented.