Tm3+: Bi4Si3O12 crystal as a promising laser material near 2 μm: growth, spectroscopic properties and laser performance

We report on the crystal growth, spectroscopic properties and laser performance of Tm3+-doped Bi4Si3O12 (BSO) crystal. The crystal was grown by the vertical Bridgeman method. The spectroscopic properties are investigated based on absorption and luminescence spectroscopy. Judd – Ofelt (JO) analysis is performed to calculate the spontaneous emission probabilities, branching ratio and the radiative lifetimes. The absorption spectrum, emission spectrum and gain cross-section spectra of Tm3+: BSO crystal are determined for the 2 μm transition. Luminescence decay kinetic of 3F4 upper level was analysed in detail. The continuous-wave 2 μm laser with a maximum output power of 650 mW and a slope efficiency of 29.7% is demonstrated for the first time. The beam quality factor (M2) of Tm3+: BSO laser was about 1.03 at the maximum output level.

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