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Rare Elements for Use in Lasers


Development of a New Active Medium on the Basis of Rare-Earth Scandium Borates and Development of Laser Sources Emitting in the 0,53 1,06 and 1,5 mm Wavelength Ranges

Tech Area / Field

  • MAT-SYN/Materials Synthesis and Processing/Materials

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Weaver L M

Leading Institute
NPO Firn, Russia, Krasnodar reg., Krasnodar

Supporting institutes

  • TRINITI, Russia, Moscow reg., Troitsk


  • Bremlas Lasertechnik Bremen GmbH, Germany, Bremen\nUniversität Hamburg, Germany, Hamburg\nCarl Zeiss Jena GmbH, Germany, Jena\nUniversity College of Dublin, Ireland, Dublin

Project summary

Development of new laser devices is connected, first of all, with a development of new active media, i.e. materials which make it possible to develop lasers with a high efficiency of energy transformation, lasers with simple optical designs and, consequently, highly reliable and time stable lasers with small weight and size characteristics, commercial lasers of various purposes.

One of the achievements in the sphere of development of new active laser media are crystals of rare-earth scandium borates (RSB) grown by the Scientific & Production Association "Firn" in 1990.

Preliminary experimental measurements of some characteristics showed that RSB crystals easily allow to realize the regime of intracavity generation of second harmonics, realize optical parametric oscillation and single frequency generation mode.

Active laser media on the basis of RSB crystals allow to obtain high doping ion concentrations (e.g. Nd up to 5.1–1021 cm-3) while a very low concentration quenching of the upper lasing level is observed in the crystal. The material may crystallize into a monoclinic and trigonal syngony, is strong (scratch hardness = 8), is a technological material which may be widely used in quantum electronic devices, i.e., for flash-lamp or diode pumping,

Now intensive research is going on in Germany of one of rare-earth scandium borates – lantanium scandium borate crystal doped with neodymium. It is studied for a possibility to develop a laser device on the basis of this crystal.

However, neither SPA "Firn" nor any company abroad performed by now a detailed scientific research of the material with different dopants, e.g. Cr, Nd; Cr, Yb, Er, the technology of an industrial growth of the crystals has not been developed, laser sources allowing to use potential capabilities of RSB single crystals have not been developed yet.

A major objective of the proposed project is the development of a new laser material – rare-earth scandium borate – and the development of laser sources on its basis emitting in the 0,53; 1,06 and 1,5 mm range.

Implementation of the project will give a possibility to widen considerably the market of laser materials and devices which will allow to solve some existing problems in such spheres as optical communications, laser probing – control and determination of harmful effluents in the atmosphere, range-finding, medicine, proximate analyses of food quality and so on.

The Project is to be implemented with Troitsk Institute of Innovative and Thermonuclear Research (TRINITI), Troitsk, Moscow region, Russia. TRINITI will measure some spectroscopic and optical characteristics of the materials, carry on mathematical simulation of lamp pumped RSB lasers, analyze designs of optical parametric oscillators, develop RSB emitters designs, manufacture model lasers and test them in the laboratory.