Simplified Production of Single Crystals for Solid State Laser Applications (2013-060)

Market Overview:

This approach to growing heterogeneous single crystals relies on cutting trenches or drilling circular holes in the substrate seed and allowing hydrothermal growth of the crystals to occur. The resulting crystals can be used as the active medium in solid state laser applications.  The global market for solid state lasers is projected to steadily increase, reaching $850 million by 2020. However, the market lacks a manageable and simplified method for mass production of single crystals which creates a problem for the increasing demand for solid state lasers and appropriate materials. Clemson University researchers have developed two specific approaches of hydrothermal growth that creates multifunctional layers of crystals from a trench carved into an appropriate substrate or by drilling holes of varying diameters in the substrate. The crystal growth processes are promising for simplified mass production, making it very advantageous to the optic industry. 

 

Application       

Optics; Solid state lasers

 

Advantages

• Can be openings of any shape or size, allowing hydrothermal growth of crystals in a wide variety of internal region formations

• Applies to any metal oxide host that can grow crystals via the hydrothermal method, producing a universal process that can be used on a variety of crystal material

• Enables a repeatable process for hydrothermal growth of single crystals, resulting in a simplified means of mass crystal production

 

Technical Summary

This method of hydrothermal growth produces single heterogeneous crystals by utilizing trenches and drilled holes within the substrate seed.  Hydrothermal growth of crystals relies upon the use of hydrothermal fluid, a low viscosity fluid that can transport material to irregular surfaces and allow growth of crystals. By cutting trenches or drilling round holes in substrate seed and subjecting them to this hydrothermal growth process, trenches and circular holes with singles crystals are produced, creating a columnar region of laser gain medium. This growth process can repeated multiple times using various sized depressions, allowing for a simplified means of mass production of crystals that can be used in numerous laser and optics applications. 

 

Stage of Development

Proof of concept; preliminary prototype

 

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Inventors:                      Joseph Kolis, Colin McMillen, Cheryl Moore

 

Application Type:          Utility

 

Serial Number:              62/156,550

 

CURF Ref No:              2013-060

Patent Information:
Category(s):
Advanced Materials
For Information, Contact:
Andrew Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
bluvasa@clemson.edu
Inventors:
Joseph Kolis
Colin McMillen
Keywords:
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