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Materials

Better Material For IR Nonlinear Optics

Infrared nonlinear optical material is thermally stable and has high laser damage threshold

by Celia Henry Arnaud
April 14, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 15

Commercially available nonlinear crystals that transmit light in the infrared region are used in optics and photonics but tend to be easily damaged by laser light. Chinese researchers report a new IR nonlinear optical material with a laser damage threshold significantly higher than that of commercially available materials (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, DOI: 10.1021/ja412405u). Jingui Qin of Wuhan University and coworkers synthesized the new material, Rb2CdBr2I2, by heating RbBr and CdI2 in water and slowly evaporating the solvent. They obtained a crystal structure, which shows that the [CdBr2I2]2− anions align themselves as distorted tetrahedrons with the iodine atoms on the same side of cadmium, resulting in a net polarization. The material transmits light over the wavelength range 0.37–14 μm, is thermally stable to 490 °C, and has a laser damage threshold of 190 MW per cm2. This threshold is six times that of AgGaS2, a commercially available IR nonlinear optical material. Rb2CdBr2I2 has a calculated band gap of 3.35 eV, which is wider than that of other IR nonlinear optical materials and which may explain the high threshold for laser damage.

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