Properties of New Optical Materials

Property Measurement

Development of new optical materials for laser applications, such as new laser gain media made of ceramics which could combine the high damage thresholds and nice electro-optic properties of the materials, and inter-mixed quantum well structured semiconductor materials for the integrated photonic devices. It is essential to study the absorption and florescence spectra of these new materials at different temperatures. The PPMS will be very useful for performing these measurements under different temperature settings.

The development of new optical materials has been one focus of the Photonics Group at the Department of Physics of IUP. The research covers new optical materials including crystals, ceramics, semiconductors and polymers, which can be potential laser gain media, semiconductor quantum well structures used for photonic device integration, new electro-optic polymer for high speed optical modulators. For example, the research work on the development of new optical gain materials based on ceramics is supported by an industrial collaborator. This new ceramic material will have a high damage threshold as the laser gain medium, while possessing excellent piezoelectric and electro-optic properties. Ideally, the laser gain material itself could be the material providing the self Q-switching or self mode-locking. Another example is the inter-mixed quantum well structured semiconductor materials for the integrated photonic device applications. For these device studies, it is essential to measure the electro-transport property of the integrated photonic devices, which includes the I-V curve, the laser output as a function of the drive current, laser threshold, laser breakdown, the emission spectrum shift with the temperature change, etc.