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Proceedings Paper

Commercializing potassium terbium fluoride, KTF (KTb3F10) faraday crystals for high laser power optical isolator applications
Author(s): Wolfgang Schlichting; Kevin Stevens; Greg Foundos; Alexis Payne
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Paper Abstract

Many scientific lasers and increasingly industrial laser systems operate in <500W and kW output power regime, require high-performance optical isolators to prevent disruptive light feedback into the laser cavity. The optically active Faraday material is the key optical element inside the isolator. SYNOPTICS has been supplying the laser market with Terbium Gallium Garnet (TGG - Tb3Ga5O12) for many years. It is the most commonly used material for the 650-1100nm range and the key advantages for TGG include its cubic crystal structure for alignment free processing, little to no intrinsic birefringence, and ease of manufacture. However, for high-power laser applications TGG is limited by its absorption at 1064nm and its thermo-optic coefficient, dn/dT. Specifically, thermal lensing and depolarization effects become a limiting factor at high laser powers. While TGG absorption has improved significantly over the past few years, there is an intrinsic limit. Now, SYNOPTICS is commercializing the enhanced new crystal Potassium Terbium Fluoride KTF (KTb3F10) that exhibits much smaller nonlinear refractive index and thermo-optic coefficients, and still exhibits a Verdet constant near that of TGG. This cubic crystal has relatively low absorption and thermo-optic coefficients. It is now fully characterized and available for select production orders. At OPTIFAB in October 2017 we present recent results comparing the performance of KTF to TGG in optical isolators and show SYNOPTICS advances in large volume crystal growth and the production ramp up.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 October 2017
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 10448, Optifab 2017, 104481N (23 October 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2279684
Show Author Affiliations
Wolfgang Schlichting, Northrop Grumman SYNOPTICS (United States)
Kevin Stevens, Northrop Grumman SYNOPTICS (United States)
Greg Foundos, Northrop Grumman SYNOPTICS (United States)
Alexis Payne, Northrop Grumman SYNOPTICS (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10448:
Optifab 2017
Julie L. Bentley; Sebastian Stoebenau, Editor(s)

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