KBBF-CaF2 Crystal-Prism Coupler for DUV Nonlinear Optics

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KBBF (Potassium beryllium fluoroborate) is a non-linear optical crystal used in optical applications. American Elements produces KBBF in high purity, submicron and nanopowder forms for research, industrial and manufacturing uses, as well as in standard grades such as Mil Spec, ACS, reagent and technical, USP and EP/BP.

The KBBF family crystal is an excellent candidate for DUV nonlinear optics due to its large second harmonic generation efficiency for 800 nm fundamental light. The ability to generate SHG is significantly enhanced by the introduction of a prism coupler between the crystal and the laser. The present invention relates to the hydrothermal growth of centimeter-size KBe2BO3F2(KBBF) and RbBe2BO3F2(RBBF) single crystals for their use as SHG components in DUV optical devices.

A KBBF-CaF2 crystal-prism coupler is shown in FIG. 1. The KBBF family crystal is bonded to two CaF2 crystal prisms through the use of transition layers deposited on each surface of the kbbf crystal. The resulting KBBF-CaF2 crystal-prism couples are highly efficient at converting incoming diode-pumped solid-state laser (DPSS) pulses into a continuous output of SHG light in the DUV region with a conversion efficiency up to 10.8%.

The KBBF-CaF2 coupler is fabricated by a process as follows. The kbbf crystal is first coated on each of its two surfaces with an SiO2 film deposited by vapor deposition. The KBBF-CaF2 crystal is then bonded to the pair of CaF2 crystal prisms through optical contact between the SiO2 films and mechanical polishing.