Forsterite, also known as magnesium olivine, is a laser active crystal that is commonly used in solid-state lasers. Forsterite has a orthorhombic crystal structure and is doped with chromium ions, which allow it to amplify light through stimulated emission.

One of the main advantages of forsterite as a laser active crystal is its ability to generate laser emissions at a wavelength of 1.3 microns, which is in the eye-safe region and makes it suitable for military and remote sensing applications. Forsterite lasers can also be mode-locked to generate ultra-short pulses in the picosecond or femtosecond range.

Another advantage of forsterite as a laser active crystal is its broad emission bandwidth, which allows it to generate laser emissions at multiple wavelengths simultaneously. This makes it suitable for applications such as spectroscopy and microscopy, where multiple wavelengths are required.

Forsterite has a relatively low thermal conductivity, which can lead to thermal effects such as thermal lensing and reduced efficiency at high pump powers. However, forsterite lasers can be designed to minimize these effects and optimize their performance for specific applications.


Cr dopant concentration, at.% 0.05 ÷ 0.50
Syngony rhombic
Lattice space parameters, Å a = 4.77; b = 10.28; c = 6.00
Refractive indexes ng = 1.670; nm = 1.651; np = 1.635
Density, g/cm3 3.217
Mohs hardness 7
Axial characteristic biaxial
Thermal expansion coefficient 9.5 x 10-6 x °K-1
Thermal conductivity, W x cm-1 x °K-1 0.08
Stimulated emission cross section, cm-2 1.44 x 10-19
Relaxation time of terminal lasing level, ps < 10
Radiative lifetime, µs 25
Spontaneous fluorescence, µs 2.7
Absorption loss at 1230 nm, cm-1 0.007 - 0.060
Absorption coefficient at 1064 nm, cm-1 0.7 - 3.0


Major pumping bands, nm 850 - 1200; 600 - 850; 350 - 550
Fluorescence band, nm 680 - 1400
Fluorescence lifetime at 25°C, µs < 3
Lasing wavelength (center) 1235 nm (pulsed), 1244 nm (CW)
Spectral bandwidth 30 nm (pulsed), 12 nm (CW)
Typical slope efficiency 23% (pulsed), 38% (CW)
Tuning range, nm 1130 - 1348
Gain cross section, cm2 < 1.45 x 10-19

Rods with round cross-sections and slabs are manufactured

Diameter, mm (4 ÷ 10) ± 0.1
Length, mm (60 ÷ 110) ± 0.6
Ends unparallelity 10´´
Surface quality, scratch/dig 10 - 5
Flatness »/10
Orientation tolerance < 5°
Orientation 001

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