Laser Materials Tm:YAG

Laser Materials Tm:Yag

General Information

Tm:YAG is used as an efficient means to generate high power 2.01 micron laser emission from the 3F4 - 3H6 transition, for surgical cutting and coagulation applications due to the high water absorption at this wavelength [1]. Diode pumping is commonly employed into the 785nm 3H6-3H4 absorption feature. Of interest in Tm3+ activated systems is the increased quantum efficiency obtained thru Tm-Tm ion cross relaxation; a non-radiative process where an excited Thulium in the 3 H 4 state (energy level around 12900 cm −1 ) decays to the 3 F 4 state (energy level around 6000 cm −1 ) and a nearest neighbor ground-state Thulium ion is promoted to the 3 F 4 level, along with phonon byproduct to satisfy energy conservation [2]. Thus, in appropriate concentrations, a single Thulium ion excited to the 3 H 4 level generates two Thulium ions in the 3 F 4 upper laser level.

When cooled to cryogenic temperatures, the 3H6-3H4 line of low doped Tm:YAG exhibits very narrow homogeneously broadened absorption features (on the order of ∼kHz), embedded within a broad ( ∼30GHz) inhomogeneously broadened line. This combination of properties has been shown to have significant importance to next generation quantum computing protocols [3], real-time broad-band spectral analysis for electronic awareness applications[4], and high time-bandwidth product signal processing applications [5].

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Dopant Ion

Tm3+ concentration range 0.005 - 100 atomic %
Dopant Ion Density @ 1 atomic %
Y3+ Site 1.38 x 1020 cm-3
Al3+Site (IV) 1.38 x 1022 cm-3
Al3+Site (VI) 0.92 x 1022 cm-3

Common Operating Specs

Emission Wavelength 2.01 μm
Laser Transition 3H43H6
Pump Wavelength 785 nm

Physical Properties

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion 6.14 x 10-6 K-1
Thermal Diffusivity 0.041 cm2 s-2
Thermal Conductivity 11.2 W m-1 K-1
Specific Heat (Cp) 0.59 J g-1 K-1
Thermal Shock Resistant 800 W m-1
Refractive Index @ 632.8 nm 1.83
dn/dT (Thermal Coefficient of Refractive Index) @ 1064nm 7.8 10-6 K-1
Molecular Weight 593.7 g mol-1
Melting Point 1965°C
Density 4.56 g cm-3
MOHS Hardness 8.25
Young’s Modulus 335 Gpa
Tensile Strength 2 Gpa
Crystal Structure Cubic
Standard Orientation <111>
Y3+ Site Symmetry D2
Lattice Constant a=12.013 Å


1) *T.Back et al., "Thulium :Yag 2micron cw laser prostatectomy :where do we stand" World J Urol. 28, 163-168 (2010).

2) A. A. Kaminskii, "Crystaline Lasers: Physical Processes and Operating Schemes", CRC Press, (1996) Chapter 8, ISBN:0-8493-3720-8

3) M. Tian, et al., "Demonstration of geometric operations on the Bloch vectors in an ensemble of rare-earth metal atoms "PHYSICAL REVIEW A 79, 022312 (2009)

A. Louchet, et al., "Optical Excitation of Nuclear Spin Coherence in Tm3+:YAG" Phys. Rev. B 877 p. 195110 (2008)

O. Guillot-Noël, et al., "Quantum storage in rare-earth doped crystals for secure networks" J. Lumin. 122-123 p. 526-528 (2007)

A. Louchet, et al., "Branching ratio measurement of a "Lambda" system in Tm3+:YAG under magnetic field" Phys. Rev. B 75 p. 035131 (2007)

4) Z. W. Barber, et al., "Angle of arrival estimation using spectral interferometry" J. Lumin. 130 (2010) 1614-1618

R. K. Mohan, et al., "Ultra-wideband spectral analysis using S2 technology," J. Lumin. 127, 116-128 (2007).

G. Gorju, et al., "10 GHz RF spectrum analyzer with MHz resolution based on spectral-spatial holography in Tm3+:YAG: experimental and theoretical study" J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 24 p. 457-470 (2007)

M. Colice, et al., "Broadband radio-frequency spectrum analysis in spectral-hole-burning media" APPLIED OPTICS, Vol. 45, No. 25, page 6393 (2006)

5)R. Reibel, et al., "Demonstrations of analog-to-digital conversion using a frequency domain stretched processor," Optics Express 17, 11281-11286 (2009).

Z. Cole, et al., "Unambiguous Range-Doppler LADAR processing using 2 giga-sample-per-second noise waveforms," J. Lumin. 127, 146-151 (2007).

C. J. Renner, et al., "Broadband photonic arbitrary waveform generation based on spatial-spectral holographic materials," JOSA B, Vol. 24, 2979-2987 (2007).

T. L. Harris, et al., "Multigigahertz range-Doppler correlative signal processing in optical memory crystals," Applied Optics, 45(2), 343-352 (2006).

Absorption Coefficient Chart

Absorption Coefficient Chart

Data Sheet Downloads

pdf Tm:YAG