a1 Department of Opto-electronics and Information Engineering, School of Precision Instruments and Opto-electronics Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People's Republic of China
a2 Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
Near-stoichiometric (NS) (Mg:)Er:LiNbO3 crystals were grown from melts containing 0.0/0.5, 0.5/0.5, and 1.0/0.5 mol%/mol% MgO/Er2O3. Crystal composition and optical properties studies show that the Li2O contents in these crystals increase all by ∼1 mol% relative to the congruent point. The 1.0 mol% MgO-doped NS crystal is just near optical damage threshold and withstands a 488 nm light intensity >0.74 MW/cm2 without optical damage. Unpolarized absorption spectra of these NS crystals were measured, and the Er3+ absorption cross-section spectra were determined. The Er3+ spectroscopic properties were studied by Judd–Ofelt theory. The results show that as the crystal composition approaches the stoichiometry, the Er3+ spectroscopic properties change definitely. The Er3+ ion in the NS crystal has smaller absorption cross section and hence weaker oscillator strength, lower emission rate, and longer radiative lifetime. Nevertheless, the radiative quantum efficiency is retained. In addition, the MgO codoping has less effect on the Er3+ spectroscopic properties.
(Received February 27 2010)
(Accepted May 18 2010)