Nonlinear Crystals: BBO

Nonlinear Crystals: BBO


Nonlinear Crystals: BBO

BBO (Beta-Barium Borate) is a nonlinear crystal that is widely used in laser technology for frequency conversion. BBO has a high nonlinear coefficient, a broad transparency range, and a high damage threshold, making it an efficient material for second harmonic generation (SHG), sum frequency generation (SFG), and difference frequency generation (DFG).

In SHG, the frequency of a laser beam is doubled by passing it through a BBO crystal. This process is used to generate light in the ultraviolet range, which is useful in applications such as fluorescence microscopy and laser spectroscopy.

SFG involves combining two laser beams of different wavelengths to create a new beam with a frequency equal to the sum of the input frequencies. BBO is often used as the nonlinear crystal in SFG because of its high efficiency and low absorption. SFG is used in a range of applications, including in Raman spectroscopy and in the production of visible and ultraviolet light.

DFG produces a new frequency that is equal to the difference between two input frequencies. BBO can be used in DFG to generate tunable infrared radiation, which has applications in spectroscopy, sensing, and imaging.

BBO is also used in optical parametric oscillators (OPOs), which are devices that produce coherent light at a new frequency by using an input laser beam and a nonlinear crystal. OPOs using BBO crystals are useful for producing tunable infrared radiation, which has important applications in spectroscopy and imaging.

Transparency range, nm 190 - 2600
Point group 3m
Space group R3c
Lattice parameters, Å a = 12.532; c = 12.717 Å
Density, g/cm3 3.85
Mohs hardness 4
Refractive indexes:  
at 1064 nm ne = 1.5425; no = 1.6551
at 532 nm ne = 1.5555; no = 1.6749
at 355 nm ne = 1.5775; no = 1.7055
at 266 nm ne = 1.6139; no = 1.7570
at 213 nm ne = 1.6742; no = 1.8465
Non-linear coefficient, pm/V d22 = 1.6; d31 = 0.08
Cut off SHG Type I - 411 nm; Type II - 527 nm
Work off Type I, 1064 nm - 3.2°
Temperature acceptance Type I, 1064 nm - 55 °C "cm
Optical damage threshold 1 - 2 GW/cm2 (1064 nm, 10 ns)
Conversion efficiency, % 30 (1064 nm, 20 ns, 3 W)
  35 (1780 nm, 20 ns, 20 Hz, 2 W)
  20 (1064 nm, 20 ns, 50 Hz, 2 W)

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