Physicists at the City College of New York (CCNY) have developed near-infrared broadband laser materials with tunability ranges about triple those of earlier crystals. For the first time, tunable laser operation was achieved at both the 1.33-micron and 1.55-micron telecommunication windows, from a single optical center in trivalent chromium (Cr3+) doped lithium indium silicate and lithium indium germanate single crystals.

The new crystals have a tunability range of as much as 460 nanometers. Because of their strong optical absorption in the range of laser diode pump sources and quantum efficiency of 50 percent, the new materials have promise for use in miniature broadband laser devices for the telecommunication industry, biomedical imaging, optical coherence tomography, laser spectroscopy, ultrafast pulse generation, and remote sensing.

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