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Proceedings Paper

Optical limiting with lithium niobate
Author(s): Gary Cook; David C. Jones; Craig J. Finnan; Lesley L. Taylor; Anthony W. Vere
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Paper Abstract

Fe:LiNbO3 in a simple focal plane geometry has demonstrated efficient optical limiting through two-beam coupling. The performance is largely independent of the total Fe concentration and the oxidation state of the Fe ions, providing the linear optical transmission of uncoated crystals is between 30% and 60%. Both the maximum change in optical density ((Delta) OD) and the speed improve with increasing pumping intensity, and neither the (Delta) OD or the speed have shown any signs of saturation for local cw pumping intensities up to 10 kW/cm2. Fe has been found to be the best dopant for LiNbO3, giving the widest spectral coverage and the greatest optical limiting. Optical limiting in Fe:LiNbO3 has been shown to be very much grater than predicted by simple diffusion theory. The reason for this is a higher optical gain than expected. It is suggested that this may be due to an enhancement of the space-charge field from a combination of hot diffusion with the photovoltaic effect. The standard two-beam coupling equations have been modified to include the effects of the dark conductivity. This has produced a theoretical intensity dependence on the (Delta) OD which closely follows the behavior observed in the laboratory. A further modification to the theory has also shown that the focusing lens f-number greatly affects the optical limiting characteristics of Fe:LiNbO3. A lens f-number of approximately 20 gives the best results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 October 1999
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3798, Power-Limiting Materials and Devices, (4 October 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.363863
Show Author Affiliations
Gary Cook, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)
David C. Jones, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)
Craig J. Finnan, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Lesley L. Taylor, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)
Anthony W. Vere, Defence Evaluation and Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3798:
Power-Limiting Materials and Devices
Christopher M. Lawson, Editor(s)

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