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Powder Method Developed for High-efficacy Measurement of Electro-optic Coefficients

Oct 15, 2020

Electro-optic (E-O) crystal shows great promise for extensive applications in laser, optoelectronics, and optical communication. With the prosperous development of Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy technique, E-O crystals are employed in this realm for generation and detection of the THz electromagnetic radiation.  

Although there are some commercial E-O crystals available in the market, further exploration of novel E-O crystals with superior properties is also in great demand for a variety of current applications. However, the discovery is sporadic due to lack of theoretical method for the evaluation of E-O effect and the difficulties of large-sized crystal growth for electro-optic coefficient measurement. Hence, the strategy for exploration of novel E-O crystals should be improved. 

In a study published in National Science Review, a group led by Prof. YE Ning from Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter (FJIRSM) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences proposed a high-efficacy evaluation method using accessible powder samples, in which second harmonic generation (SHG) effect, infrared reflectance spectrum, and Raman spectrum are introduced to predict the magnitude of E-O coefficient. 

The researchers established this evaluation method on the material in powder form or small crystals in micron size, which can be easily obtained at the onset of experiment.  

Compared to traditional method for the measurement of E-O coefficients with large-sized crystal which is difficult and time-consuming, the utilization of powders renders the exploring process to be more efficient.  

The calculated E-O coefficients of numerous reported E-O crystals through this approach give universally agreement with the experimental values, evidencing the validity of strategy. 

Based on this method, CsLiMoO-4(CLM) is screened as a novel E-O crystal and high-quality crystal is grown by the Czochralski technique for E-O coefficient measurement with half-wave voltage method, whose result is also comparable to the calculated value. 

Considering the preferable calculated E-O coefficient and the relationship between E-O effect and macroscopic symmetry of crystal, the researchers selected CLM as a potential E-O crystal.  

This powder method for the evaluation of E-O crystals is not only significant for the further understanding of the E-O coefficient, but also has important implications for the high-efficacy screening of promising E-O crystals. The powder evaluation strategy presented in this study will pave a new avenue to explore promising E-O crystals efficiently. 

A powder method for the high-efficacy evaluation of electro-optic crystals

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