Internal Gradient Doping of Host Crystals for Improved Quality of Solid State Lasers (2011-063)

Market Overview:

This hydrothermal approach provides variation in the concentration of selected dopants within the host single crystal lattice, resulting in improved power and beam quality of solid state lasers. The global market for solid state lasers is projected to steadily increase, reaching $850 million by 2020. This steady growth is primarily due to the demand for lasers with operational thresholds that can be reached at relatively low intensities of laser pumping. One way to achieve low intensities of laser pumping includes varying the laser ion dopant concentration. Existing practices of doing this, however, are cumbersome and infeasible. Clemson University researchers have developed a practical way to vary the dopant ion concentration within the laser crystals that ultimately improves the quality of high powered lasers by eliminating thermal defects. The hydrothermal approach will enable growth of laser crystals with greatly increased sophistication and optical efficiency, dramatically increasing the performance of solid state lasers by achieving appropriate gradient doping.


Application                                                                                          Stage of Development

Optic industry; High power lasers                                                        Validated Prototype




•  Eliminates thermal effects that degrade the quality of the laser output beam, improving power and beam

   quality of solid state lasers

• Allows for relatively complex doping profiles to be scaled to commercial quantities, providing a simple way

   to mass produce needed materials for laser applications

• Enables dopant ion concentration in each layer can be increased or decreased as desired, resulting in dopant

   profiles that will increase the performance of elaborate laser designs



Technical Summary

Clemson University researchers have developed a hydrothermal method to prepare single crystal oxide hosts doped with lasing ions. The dopant ion concentration in each layer can be increased or decreased as desired, producing a uniform single crystal with a controlled variation of dopant ion.  A typical host crystal, such as YAG, can have a section of the crystal which is doped with an increasing or decreasing concentration of lasing ions such as Yb3+ or Nd3+. The gradient can range smoothly and gradually over a wide gradient from 0% to a large value such as 50% and then back to 0%. The gradient profile can occur anywhere inside the host, from the surface to the center of the host crystal. The overall resulting product is one high quality single crystal. This approach is very useful for laser applications that demand high power or exceptionally efficient performance because it eliminates many of the thermal effects that degrade the quality of the laser output beam.



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Inventors:                      Joseph Kolis, Colin McMillen


Application Type:          Non-provisional


Serial Number:             13/923,942


CURF Ref No:                2011-063



Patent Information:
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Joseph Kolis
Colin Mcmillen
Photonic Crystals
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