Current means of generating infrared photons using nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals suffers from a scarcity of suitable and easily accessible high performing materials. This collaborative project investigates a new class of materials with exceptional second harmonic generation (SHG) properties functioning in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Systematic synthesis, purification and crystal growth efforts are proposed for a broad set of very promising low-dimensional materials with the goal to obtain high purity single crystals. The crystals will then be used to carry out a full set of linear and nonlinear measurements and fundamental studies to understand their structure/properties relationships, and in particular how structure dimensionality affects SHG. The project addresses key questions such as i) how does very SHG arise in such materials given their particular low-dimensional crystal structures, ii) how can we grow large single crystals with exceptionally high optical purity and low laser damage threshold for full NLO characterization, iii) what determines a good balance between high SHG performance and high laser damage threshold. Materials will be grown using the Bridgman method as well as flux and vapor transport techniques. The deliverables would be a deeper understanding of the NLO property/crystal structure relationship, more powerful materials design principles, new high performance materials in single crystal form (ready to be taken to the next level of development), and students trained in NLO materials chemistry/optical science. Public benefit: Success in this project should allow more powerful tunable, narrowband lasers, enabled by the proposed NLO materials, which could lead to better capabilities in sensing of hazardous materials such as chemical warfare agents, biohazards and pollutants important to national security, environmental monitoring and in safer industrial process controls. Also positively impacted could be advances in laser-based minimally invasive medical surgery and direct imaging of biological structures in tissues and disease states.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/19 → 7/31/22|
- Air Force Office of Scientific Research (FA9550-19-1-0243)