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23 March 2016 Progress in rare-earth-doped nanocrystalline glass-ceramics for laser cooling
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Laser cooling with anti-Stokes fluorescencewas predicted by Pringsheim in 1929, but for solids was only demonstrated in 1995. There are many difficulties which have hindered laser assisted cooling, principally the chemical purity of a sample and the availability of suitable hosts. Recent progress has seen the cooled temperature plummet to 93K in Yb:YLF. One of the challenges for laser cooling to become ubiquitous, is incorporating the rare-earthcooling ion in a more easily engineered material, rather than a pure crystalline host. Rare-earth-doped nanocrystalline glass-ceramics were first developed by Wang and Ohwaki for enhanced luminescence and mechanical properties compared to their parent glasses. Our work has focused on creating a nanocrystalline environment for the cooling ion, in an easy to engineer glass. The glasses with composition 30SiO2-15Al2O3-27CdF2-22PbF2-4YF3-2YbF3 (mol%), have been prepared by the conventional melt-quenching technique. By a simple post fabrication thermal treatment, the rare-earth ions are embedded in the crystalline phase within the glass matrix. Nanocrystals with various sizes and rare-earth concentrations have been fabricated and their photoluminescence properties assessed in detail. These materials show close to unity photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) when pumped above the band. However, they exhibit strong up-conversion into the blue, characteristic of Tm trace impurity whose presence was confirmed. The purification of the starting materials is underway to reduce the background loss to demonstrate laser cooling. Progress in the development of these nano-glass-ceramics and their experimental characterization will be discussed.
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Kummara Venkata Krishnaiah, Yannick Ledemi, Elton Soares de Lima Filho, Sebastien Loranger, Galina Nemova, Younes Messaddeq, and Raman Kashyap "Progress in rare-earth-doped nanocrystalline glass-ceramics for laser cooling", Proc. SPIE 9765, Optical and Electronic Cooling of Solids, 97650L (23 March 2016);

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