Sintering, Solid State Conversion, and Performance of Laser Host Ceramics

Project: Research project

Project Details


NON-TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION: This program is developing the science necessary to produce novel Y3Al5O12 and Y2O3 doped with Nd3+, Er3+, and Yb3+ single crystals for high power laser applications by solid state conversion (SSC). The SSC process takes advantage of extensive grain growth (millimeter to centimeter in size) in a ceramic during high temperature processing such that the largest grains are high quality single crystals. By working in the solid state, rather the commonly used liquid growth processes, the crystals produced have exceptional quality and thus significantly improved optical performance for laser applications. TECHNICAL DETAILS: Under this research program, the SSC method is being developed to produce optical single crystals of Y3Al5O12 and Y2O3 doped with Nd3+, Er3+, and Yb3+. The Penn State University team is investigating the thermodynamics and kinetics of the SSC process and developing a robust, scientific understanding that can be applied to the SSC growth of single crystals of other materials. Optical performance of the new optical crystals is being compared to ceramics of same composition to understand how grain boundaries affect optical behavior. The project is leading to a new suite of solid state optical materials with greater performance and functionality than any material currently available, and these materials will enable future optical technologies with greater efficiency and power than are currently possible. As part of this research program, graduate students are giving lectures and demonstrations to high school students to educate them about materials used in lasers. Special emphasis is placed on highlighting the roles of materials and ceramic research in the future of laser development with the hope of inspiring students to investigate the field of ceramic science as they begin to make their college entrance decisions.

Effective start/end date9/1/078/31/11


  • National Science Foundation: $377,310.00
  • National Science Foundation: $377,310.00


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