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Title: Experimental studies of non-radiative relaxation rates in solid state laser materials
Author: Anson, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1971
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Techniques for the measurement of non-radiative decay rates between the optically excited states in solid-state laser materials are described. Two crystals have been investigated, ruby (Cr3+:Al2O3) and Sm2+:CaF2. A review of the spectroscopy of these materials is presented with particular emphasis on aspects relevant to non-radiative decay. An experiment is described using a second harmonic Nd3+ Nd:glass Q-switched laser to pump ruby crystals. Limiting non-radiative relaxation times were derived from the rise of fluorescence. Rubies varying in concentration between 0.05% and 0.4% were studied over a range of temperatures, 77 -> 7000 K. 4T2 -> 2E(E + 2A), 4T2 -> 2T1 (Eb) and 4T2 -> 2T1 (2A + Ea) non-radiative relaxations were all found to be <4ns in good agreement with the experimental results of other workers. Two experiments employing a ruby laser to pump Sm2+ :CaF2 are described. The first used a Q-switched laser and, apart from some improvements was similar to the ruby experiment. An upper limit of 4f^5 5d pump -> metastable non-radiative decay of 2ns was found for Sm2+:CaF2, The fluorescence decay constant at 295 K was also measured to be 63ns. The second experiment employed a mode-locked laser and the Sm2+:CaF2 non-radiative decay time was <0.5ns. A new effect - provisionally called 'surface emission' - discovered during the ruby measurements, has been examined in detail and the results of this investigation are presented. A phase-shift technique for the measurement of non-radiative decay times is examined in detail. A pilot experiment using a self-mode-locked He-Ne laser at 633 nm to pump Sm2+:CaF2 is described. The non-radiative relaxation time found by this method was <33ps. Suggestions for improved experiments, both pulsed and phase-shifts, are made and the application of the techniques to other materials is discussed.
Supervisor: Smith, R. C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QC Physics ; TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering