Excitation Spectroscopy of Er3+-doped α-Al2O3 Nanopowder and Ceramic

Report No. ARL-TR-6126
Authors: T. Sanamyan, R. Pavlacka, G. Gilde, and M. Dubinskiy
Date/Pages: August 2012; 34 pages
Abstract: We have developed an excitation spectroscopy setup for investigating the spectroscopic properties of non-transparent samples, such as powders and ceramic, in the spectral range of 380–2700 nm and temperature range of 10–300 K. We present the results of a comprehensive spectroscopic study of successfully synthesized nanopowders and fully densified transparent ceramics of erbium ion (Er3+)-doped corundum (α-Al2O3). Fluorescence and excitation spectra in a range of temperatures 10–300 K were used to infer the energy level schemes of the ground state and the first three excited Er3+ multiplets (4I15/2, 4I13/2, 4I11/2, and 4I9/2) in this material. The observed Er3+ spectra in (α-Al2O3 nanopowders and ceramics exhibit sharp, well-resolved emission and excitation lines, indicating predominant crystalline single-site Er3+ occupation. Obtained experimental data also allowed us to assess the potential of this material as the gain medium for high power laser applications in anticipation that it becomes available in a low-loss (grain-oriented) ceramic or single crystalline form in the near future.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2012