, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 149-158
Date: 07 Aug 2009

Influence of MgO codoping on the optical properties of Er3+-doped near-stoichiometric LiNbO3

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Four near-stoichiometric lithium niobate (NSLN) crystals codoped with Er3+ (1 mol%) and MgO (0, 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mol%) were grown from K2O-based flux in air using top seeded solution growth technique. The [Li]/[Nb] ratio, estimated from the blueshift of ultraviolet absorption edge, is 97.2% in NSLN:Er. MgO; codoping can increase the segregation coefficient of Er3+ in NSLN:Er:MgO crystal. The photorefractive damage threshold is enhanced by three orders of magnitude for NSLN:Er codoped with 1 mol% MgO, it coincides with the peak shift of OH absorption spectrum from 3481 to 3535 cm−1. Judd–Ofelt theory based on absorption spectra is used to analyze the influence of MgO concentration on the Judd–Ofelt intensity parameter, transition strength, fluorescence branching ratio, and stimulated emission cross section. From the time-resolved emission spectra and the comparison among emission spectra, two Er3+ crystal-field sites are ascertained in NSLN:Er codoped with 2 mol% MgO, this coincides with the bimodal structure in X-ray photoelectron spectrometry spectra. The upconversion processes under pulse excitation is proposed based on the pump energy dependence and decay kinetics. The distribution of Er3+-clustered sites in NSLN:Er:MgO series is discussed based on the nonexponential decay curves monitored at 550 nm under two-photon excitation.