Pulsed Er:glass lasers operating at 1.54 µm are especially suited to a variety of applications such as lidar, surgery, and telecommunications. This stems from the fact that its emission wavelength coincides with the so-called eye-safe spectral region, which also corresponds to one of the atmospheric transmission windows, and to the third transmission window of silica fibers.
IR laser pulses are created using a high-voltage gated electro-optic crystal, a liquid Kerr cell or even mechanical shutters which have slow responsive time and are prone to damages.
Development of the compact, robust, and affordable IR electro-optical systems is limited in the most cases by the shortage of materials optically active or optically transparent in the IR region.
IR Q-switches made of saturable absorber nano particles of PbSe or PbSe/PbS core-shell structure trapped in transparent matrix were shown to function over wide spectral regions, when the size of the crystals sets the band gap. The nano particles can be produced in mild conditions and have long term stability.
- Size tunability of the energy band-gap in the near infra-red spectral regime
- Low cost and easy manufacturing processes
Applications and Opportunities
- IR electro-optical systems
- Laser systems
- Absorbers and switches in the near IR spectral regime