The components of lasers can be made of many different materials. Many high power and solid-state lasers use ceramic materials to generate a laser beam and are seen as an alternative material to glass and single crystals, which are two other materials that are commonly used to generate a laser beam.
The development has stemmed from the creation of new ceramic materials, as well as advances in powder synthesis and ceramic sintering methods, which have introduced more high-quality ceramics to be used in advanced optical applications such as lasers.
Types of Ceramic Laser Materials:
Many different materials can be used to create lasers, the first ceramic to be used in a laser was Dy2+:CaF2 in 1964, and, since then, both doped and undoped ceramic materials have been tested.
The materials trialed over the years include metal oxide ceramics, yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG), non-oxide ceramics, composite ceramics, sesquioxide ceramics, and non-cubic doped fluorapatite ceramics. All of these materials have doped and undoped versions (with various dopants being used), which show different properties to each other, with noticeable differences also being present between doped and undoped versions of the same material.