Co2+:MgAl2O4 saturable absorber transparent ceramics fabricated by high-pressure spark plasma sintering

Barak Ratzker, Roni Shrem, Inbar Ayalon, Avry Shirakov, Zeev Burshtein, Sergey Kalabukhov, Nitzan Maman, Vladimir Ezersky, Amiel Ishaaya, Ehud Galun, Nachum Frage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Single-stage processing of high-quality transparent functional polycrystalline ceramics is desirable but challenging. In the present work, spark plasma sintering (SPS) was employed for fabrication of Co2+:MgAl2O4 saturable absorbers for laser passive Q-switching. Densification of commercial MgAl2O4 powders, doped via co-precipitation, was carried out by conventional SPS and high-pressure SPS (HPSPS) under pressures of 60 and 400 MPa, respectively. The presence of LiF, a common sintering additive, was detrimental to optical properties as it promoted reaction of cobalt with sulfur impurities and the formation of Co9S8 inclusions. Densification by HPSPS without LiF allowed to obtain highly transparent Co2+:MgAl2O4. The optical properties of samples, with doping concentrations varying between 0.01 and 0.1 at.% Co2+, were assessed and saturable absorption was demonstrated at ~1.5 µm wavelength, exhibiting ground-state (σgs) and excited (σes) cross-sections of 3.5×10-19 and 0.8×10-19 cm2, respectively. Thus, it was established that HPSPS is an effective method to fabricate transparent Co2+:MgAl2O4 ceramics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6067-6074
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022


  • Absorption cross-section
  • Cobalt-doped spinel
  • LiF
  • Saturable absorption
  • Spark plasma sintering (SPS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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