, Volume 75, Issue 8, pp 827-833

New organic–inorganic hybrid matrices doped with rhodamine 6G as solid-state dye lasers

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We report on the laser action of rhodamine 6G (Rh6G) incorporated into new hybrid organic–inorganic monolithic materials. The synthesis of these materials proceeded via the simultaneous sol-gel process of the inorganic part (tetraethoxysilane or tetramethoxysilane) and the free-radical polymerization of an organic monomer part (2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate and a 1:1 v/v copolymer of this monomer with methyl methacrylate). The wt. % proportion of the alkoxide was systematically varied in each organic formulation, and the effect of each organic–inorganic composition on the lasing properties of Rh6G was evaluated. The laser samples were transversely pumped and the influence on the laser action of dye concentration, pump wavelength and pump repetition rate was analyzed. Lasing efficiencies of up 26% and good stabilities, with a 90% drop in the initial laser output of up to 12000 pump pulses at 2.5 Hz, were obtained when the samples were pumped at 355 nm with 5.5 mJ/pulse from the third harmonic of a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser.