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345 Senior Design Project

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  1. 345 Senior Design Project Lasing Rare-earth doped microspheres Lawrence Tai

  2. Introduction • Under the direction of Professor Gary Eden, and those in the Laboratory of Optical Physics and Engineering, I attempted to create my own microspheres and to get them to lase

  3. Goals • Etch fiber • Create microsphere • Pump sphere in attempt to get it to lase • Test array of microspheres

  4. Background - Fiber • ZBLAN Fiber (Zirconium, Barium, Lanthanum, Aluminum, and Sodium) • Transmits better than Silica glass, and wider spectrum • Fiber consists of coating, 125 μm cladding, and ~2 μm core.

  5. Background - Microspheres • Good resonators with low losses • High Q (quality) value • Possibly uses in many different devices • Optical communication devices • Lasers • High resolution spectroscopy


  6. Review of original design • Hydrogen Torch • Dye Laser • Lens • Fiber Holder

  7. Etching process • Tetrahydrofuran (THF) – Remove Coating • Solution of 0.3M HCl and small amounts of Boric acid – etch cladding • Use DI water and Isopropynal to clean and dry fiber • Also tested solutions such as HF, H2SO4, and another solution with HCl and ZrOCl2

  8. EtchingProcess

  9. Microsphere creation • Used Hydrogen torch to create the microspheres

  10. Microspheres • Holmium (Ho) doped ZBLAN • Pump 645 nm Lase 550 nm • Erbium (Er) doped ZBLAN • Pump 800 nm Lase 540 nm

  11. Microspheres • Whispering Gallery Modes • Light traveling within surface boundary reflected at small angles • Best way of achieving low losses

  12. Pump Laser • Argon ion pumping a dye laser • Unable to get dye laser to lase • Pumps at 645 nm • Argon ion pumping Ti:sapphire laser • Pumps at ~800 nm

  13. PumpLaser

  14. Possible tests • Visual test – should see green • Spectrum with spectroscope to confirm visual test • Power in/out

  15. Results • Unfortunately not able to get microsphere to lase. • Measured wavelength of pump laser -> 800.6 nm • Measured power of pump laser -> 240 mW

  16. Results

  17. Possible explanations • Unable to correctly couple the laser into the microsphere • Hitting sphere head on possibly canceling out photons inside of microsphere • Created a bad microsphere

  18. Challenges • Finding correct etching process • Dye Laser • Size of fibers

  19. Successes • Refined process of etching fibers • Creation of microspheres

  20. Future work • Get microsphere to lase • Couple multiple microspheres and collect data. • Creating an array of microspheres and getting them to lase.