Optical materials - characterization and fabrication
Laser and nonlinear materials characterisation
To be able to make optical systems, knowledge is required about the materials used. For example, when building lasers thermal lensing and absorption play a fundamental role. At present we are studying linear and nonlinear absorption of radiation in laser crystals, glasses and nonlinear materials. The measurements are combined with careful simulations. The measurements are done with FTIR spectroscopy and using common path interferometry. The latter is a highly sensitive technique which gives us means to design appropriate laser components and to foresee the limitations when the materials are used in various configurations, in continuous wave operation as well as in the pulsed regime (ns, ps, fs).
We have also been involved in the characterization of novel rare-earth doped laser materials like Er- and Yb-doped tungstates and Er-Yb doped laser glasses. There we determined emission and absorption cross-sections and thermal and mechanical stability under laser pumping.
Optical fibers is another area where we have been involved over a long time characterizing and developing different structures and material combinations, see separate.