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Domain engineering in KTiOPO4

by Canalias, Carlota

Abstract (Summary)
Ferroelectric crystals are commonly used in nonlinear optics for frequency conversion of laser radiation. The quasi-phase matching (QPM) approach uses a periodically modulated nonlinearity that can be achieved by periodically inverting domains in ferroelectric crystals and allows versatile and efficient frequency conversion in the whole transparency region of the material. KTiOPO4 (KTP) is one of the most attractive ferroelectric non-linear optical material for periodic domain-inversion engineering due to its excellent non-linearity, high resistance for photorefractive damage, and its relatively low coercive field. A periodic structure of reversed domains can be created in the crystal by lithographic patterning with subsequent electric field poling. The performance of the periodically poled KTP crystals (PPKTP) as frequency converters rely directly upon the poling quality. Therefore, characterization methods that lead to a deeper understanding of the polarization switching process are of utmost importance. In this work, several techniques have been used and developed to study domain structure in KTP, both in-situ and ex-situ. The results obtained have been utilized to characterize different aspects of the polarization switching processes in KTP, both for patterned and unpatterned samples. It has also been demonstrated that it is possible to fabricate sub-micrometer (sub-?m) PPKTP for novel optical devices. Lithographic processes based on e-beam lithography and deep UV-laser lithography have been developed and proven useful to pattern sub- ?m pitches, where the later has been the most convenient method. A poling method based on a periodical modulation of the K-stoichiometry has been developed, and it has resulted in a sub-?m domain grating with a period of 720 nm for a 1 mm thick KTP crystal. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest domain aspect-ratio achieved for a bulk ferroelectric crystal. The sub-micrometer PPKTP samples have been used for demonstration of 6:th and 7:th QPM order backward second-harmonic generation with continuous wave laser excitation, as well as a demonstration of narrow wavelength electrically-adjustable Bragg reflectivity.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Engineering physics; Optical physics; quasi-phase matching; KTiOPO4; ferroelectric domains; atomic force microscopy; periodic electric field poling; polarization switching; second harmonic generation

ISBN:91-7178-152-8

Date of Publication:01/01/2005

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