YAG, or yttrium aluminum garnet, is a common laser active crystal that is widely used in a variety of laser systems. YAG has a crystalline structure that allows it to amplify light through the process of stimulated emission. When YAG is excited by an external energy source, such as a flash lamp or diode, it emits light at a specific wavelength determined by the crystal's properties.

One of the primary advantages of YAG as a laser active crystal is its high thermal conductivity, which allows it to dissipate heat efficiently and operate at high power levels without damage. YAG also has a broad emission spectrum that can be tailored to specific applications by doping the crystal with different ions, such as neodymium or erbium.

Nd:YAG, or neodymium-doped YAG, is one of the most common types of YAG lasers. Nd:YAG lasers are used in a wide range of applications, including industrial cutting and welding, medical procedures, and scientific research. They emit light at a wavelength of 1064 nanometers, which is in the infrared part of the spectrum.

YAG crystals are also used in other types of lasers, such as Er:YAG (erbium-doped YAG) lasers, which emit light in the mid-infrared range, and Ho:YAG (holmium-doped YAG) lasers, which emit light at a wavelength of 2097 nanometers.

Chemical formula Nd3+:Y3Al5O12 Er3+:Y3Al5O12 Yb3+:Y3Al5O12
Crystal structure cubic cubic cubic
Dopant concentration, at.% 0.7 - 1.1 up to 50 LOW: 6 - 8%, HIGH: 20%
Density, g/cm3 4.56 5,35 4.56
Mohs hardness 8.5 8.5 8.5
Thermal expansion coefficient 7.8 x 10-6 x °K-1, <111>
8.2 x 10-6 x °K-1, <100>
9,5 x 10-6 K-1 (a axis), 4,3 x 10-6 K-1 (b axis),
10,8 x 10-6 K-1 (c axis)
7.8 x 10-6 x °K-1, <111>, 0 - 250 °C
Thermal conductivity at 25°C, W x cm-1 x °K-1 0.14 0.12 0.14
Loss coefficient at 1064 nm, cm-1 0.003 0.003 0.003
Refractive index, at 1 µm 1.82 1.837 1.82
Lasing wavelength, nm 1064.0 2940 1030

Rods with round cross-sections are manufactured:

Diameter, mm (4 ÷ 8) ± 0.025
Length, mm up to 130 ± 0.5
Flatness < λ/10
Parallelism, arc sec < 10
Perpendicularity, arc min < 10
Roughness, scratch/dig 10 - 5

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