American Chemical Society
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Rational Design via Synergistic Combination Leads to an Outstanding Deep-Ultraviolet Birefringent Li2Na2B2O5 Material with an Unvalued B2O5 Functional Gene

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-01-18, 00:00 authored by Min Zhang, Donghai An, Cong Hu, Xinglong Chen, Zhihua Yang, Shilie Pan
Birefringent materials, the key components in modulating the polarization of light, are of great importance in optical communication and the laser industry. Limited by their transparency range, few birefringent materials can be practically used in the deep ultraviolet (DUV, λ < 200 nm) region. Different from the traditional BO3- or B3O6-based DUV birefringent crystals, we propose a new functional gene, the B2O5 unit, for designing birefringent materials. Excitingly, the synergistic combination of Li4B2O5 and Na4B2O5 generates a new compound, Li2Na2B2O5, with enhanced optical properties. The Li2Na2B2O5 crystal with a size of up to 35 × 15 × 5 mm3 was grown by the top-seeded solution growth (TSSG) method, and its physicochemical properties were systematically characterized. Li2Na2B2O5 features a large amount of birefringence (0.095@532 nm), a short DUV cutoff edge (181 nm) with a high laser-induced damage threshold (LDT, 7.5 GW/cm2 @1064 nm, 10 ns), favorable anisotropic thermal expansion (αab = 5.6), and the lowest crystal growth temperature (<609 °C) among the commercial birefringent crystals. Moreover, the influences of the B2O5 structural configurations on the optical anisotropy were explored. The fascinating experimental results will provide a prominent DUV birefringent crystal and an effective synthesis strategy, which can facilitate the design of DUV birefringent materials.