Optics 101

Promethium Doped Phosphate Glass Lasers – Properties and Applications

Phosphate glass lasers are glass materials that are based on phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5), along with added chemicals. They are used as the gain medium in optical and bulk lasers. Doping this laser with rare earth metals is very easy, and it does not undergo any degradation while doping. Promethium (Pm) is a chemical element, belonging to the lanthanide group of the periodic table. All of its isotopes are radioactive. Phosphate glass laser doped with promethium is categorised as a solid-state laser.

Promethium 147 isotope is doped onto a lead-indium-phosphate glass etalon, leading to the production of four-level laser emission of wavelengths 933 and 1098nm. This was first demonstrated at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1987. Promethium 147 isotope has a half-life of 2.62 years, the trivalent ion 147Pm +3 exhibits the same behaviour as Neodymium (Nd3+) as an active laser medium.

The physical properties of this laser are discussed in the sections below.

Laser Properties

Laser Properties
Laser type Solid
Operating Wavelengths

Physical and Chemical Properties

Physical and Chemical Properties
Chemical formula 147Pm +3:Glass
Hardness 503
Thermal conductivity 0.85 W/mK
Young's modulus 71 GPa

Sources and Further Reading

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