Colloidal nanoparticles : a new class of laser gain media
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Development of high average power lasers has historically been limited by the properties of available gain media. As a result it is either too costly or impractical to employ lasers in many applications for which they would otherwise be well suited. We have synthesized a new type of colloidal laser gain material that should possess many of the advantages of solid state media without their primary disadvantage: poor thermal performance. The colloid consisted of an emulsion of 20% Nd+3 doped phosphate glass nanoparticles suspended in nonanoic acid. The spectroscopic properties of the material were found to be consistent with those of bulk Nd+3 doped materials and suitable for laser development.