A path to practical Solar Pumped Lasers via Radiative Energy Transfer

Reusswig, Philip D.; Nechayev, Sergey; Scherer, Jennifer M.; Gyu Weon Hwang; Bawendi, Moungi G.; Baldo, Marc. A.; Rotschild, Carmel
October 2015
Scientific Reports;10/9/2015, p1
Academic Journal
The optical conversion of incoherent solar radiation into a bright, coherent laser beam enables the application of nonlinear optics to solar energy conversion and storage. Here, we present an architecture for solar pumped lasers that uses a luminescent solar concentrator to decouple the conventional trade-off between solar absorption efficiency and the mode volume of the optical gain material. We report a 750-µm-thick Nd3+-doped YAG planar waveguide sensitized by a luminescent CdSe/CdZnS (core/shell) colloidal nanocrystal, yielding a peak cascade energy transfer of 14%, a broad spectral response in the visible portion of the solar spectrum, and an equivalent quasi-CW solar lasing threshold of 23 W-cm-2, or approximately 230 suns. The efficient coupling of incoherent, spectrally broad sunlight in small gain volumes should allow the generation of coherent laser light from intensities of less than 100 suns.


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