NASA SBIR 01-1 Solicitation

FORM 9B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: E1.02-9164 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 012835 )
PROPOSAL TITLE:
Growth of Nd-Doped Y2O3 Crystals for Space Based Ozone Laser Transmitters

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Space-based ultraviolet (UV) and Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) systems are required for measurements of ozone and aerosols. Currently, optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and sum frequency mixing (SFM) technologies are used to produce the UV pulses. These systems have low efficiency, are complex and difficult to base on a satellite. Nd:Y2O3 laser systems are efficient at 914 and 948 nm laser generation which after tripling (305 nm and 315 nm, respectively) could produce efficient, reliable and simple systems for space based ozone laser transmittal applications. Nd:Y2O3 crystals of sufficient size and purity are currently unavailable. One of the main problems in growing Y2O3 crystals from the melt is its high melting temperature (2410C). It is intended to adapt the Heat Exchanger Method (HEM) and demonstrate feasibility of Y2O3 crystal growth. A fully-insulated HEM furnace with no moving parts is ideally suited for growth of large crystals at high temperatures. During the proposed six-month program an HEM furnace will be set up (at Crystal Systems's expense) to operate at 2500C and utilize it for Y2O3 crystal growth. Once feasibility of Y2O3 crystal growth is established, larger crystals of Nd:Y2O3 will be grown for laser applications during the Phase II program.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
In addition to UV laser generation for space based ozone laser transmittal applications, the inherent Nd:Y2O3 lasers operating at 914 nm and 948 nm makes it a unique laser for spectroscopy, metalworking, military and civilian applications. Besides doping the crystals with Nd, lasers can be developed with other rare earth ions such as Yb and Tm. These lasers will produce their unique laser radiation around 1.07 um and 2 um, respectively. Even though rare-earth doped YAG crystals are available, it is expected that the Y2O3 isomorphs are attractive for high average power solid state laser applications because of the reduced thermal optic effect. It is also expected that Tm:Y2O3 could operate as a tunable laser around 2 um. These lasers have potential for generation of ultrashort pulses, hence can be used in high power applications. In addition, they could be pumped using laser diodes.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Chandra P. Khattak
Crystal Systems, Inc.
27 Congress Street
Salem , MA   01970 - 5597

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Crystal Systems, Inc.
27 Congress Street
Salem , MA   01970 - 5597


Form Printed on 06-19-01 15:44