Abstract

We report an unusual thermal response of tellurium (Te) near-infrared (NIR) luminescence in phosphate laser glass, where the luminescence first increases and then decreases with heat-treatment temperatures increasing from 250°C to the glass transition temperature (Tg). This is followed by a distinct revival of Te NIR luminescence at temperatures above Tg. This result differs from the scenario in conventional rare-earth (Er3+, Nd3+, and Yb3+)-doped phosphate glasses, where the rare-earth NIR emission decreases with increasing heat-treatment temperature. The difference may originate from conversion between Te4 and other Te species, which depends on the evolution of the glass structure and molecular motion during the reheating processes, leading to unusual thermal response of Te NIR luminescence. The increase in Te4 clusters enhances Te NIR emission, indicating that Te NIR luminescence is assigned to the Te4 cluster, in contrast to previous studies. Heating and cooling cycles between 50°C and 250°C reveal strong dependence of the thermal degradation on glass structure. Te-doped phosphate laser glass with zero thermal degradation can be realized by stabilizing NIR luminescence center Te4 by adjusting the glass structure with reduced network crosslinking. The superior optical performance has been confirmed in our previous study that the NIR luminescence properties can be well maintained in Te-doped fiber. The findings indicate that Te-doped phosphate glass with unusual thermal responses can potentially be used in fiber laser devices.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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