Seminar: "Correlations between optical and microstructural properties of transparent Nd:YAG ceramics: suitable process parameters to elaborate new materials for power lasers", Dr. Rémy Boulesteix CREOL 102 Thursday, September 9, 2010 / 11:00am - 12:00pm
Dr. Rémy Boulesteix
SPCTS Laboratory in Limoges.
Since fifteen years, new transparent materials have been elaborated by using the promising ceramic route. The transparent polycrystalline materials so-obtained can show similar optical properties to the single-crystal ones generally used in laser cavities. To reach required optical properties to a laser application, numerous problems related to the elaboration of ceramic pieces must be previously solved. More particularly, experimental parameters such as the average grain size, volume fraction of residual secondary phases or porosity, must be controlled to obtain expected transparency and laser efficiency.
The aim of the present talk is to present a research methodology leading to the elaboration of transparent Nd:YAG ceramics with laser quality. First, we had to understand well the sintering mechanism of Nd:YAG ceramics in order to control their microstructure (grain size and porosity). From this fundamental work, it was possible to elaborate Nd:YAG specimens with various residual porosity allowing to study the influence of such defects on optical properties. Finally, suitable conditions were determined to enhance the manufacturing process of Nd:YAG pieces and, consequently, their optical properties. In near future, it would be possible to develop new transparent ceramics of interest for power lasers like Yb:Sc2O3 or Cr:YAG by using similar research program.
Dr. R. Boulesteix obtained his MS degree in Chemistry in 2006 and a PhD in Materials Science and Processing in November 2009 from Limoges University, France. He worked with the Science of Ceramic Processing and Surface Treatment Laboratory in Limoges under the direction of Professor Alexandre Maître and Jean-François Baumard. He is presently Research Associate at SPCTS Laboratory in Limoges. His research interests on elaboration and characterization of ceramic materials including more particularly optical ceramics.
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Martin C. Richardson