Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department



Kolis, Joseph W

Committee Member

Ballato, John

Committee Member

Tennyson, Andrew G

Committee Member

Pennington, William T


ABSTRACT The hydrothermal method of crystal growth offers many benefits over traditional melt-based techniques such as lower temperature requirements relieving detrimental high temperature effects such as stress fracturing and a closed-environment, which limits impurities. The continued study of this type of growth including hydrothermal epitaxy is crucial in our world of constant miniaturization. Presented in this thesis is the hydrothermal growth of crystals of LuAG and Lu2O3 doped with a variety of dopants. Their room-temperature and cryogenic absorption spectra are also presented. Much like Nature uses heat, pressure, water and a nutrient-rich feedstock we have used this hydrothermal technique to produce synthetic crystals of grossular, Ca3Al2(SiO4)3, a naturally occurring garnet as well as other aluminosilicates related to grossular, including a new type of vesuvianite. Other garnets important to the laser industry have also been grown using the hydrothermal technique, such as yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG), lutetium aluminum garnet (LuAG) and the related sesquioxide Lu2O3, (lutetia). The growth and characteristics of Yb-doped lutetia and LuAG, Nd-doped lutetia, and Dy-doped lutetia and YAG are presented herein. These laser crystals have been analyzed by high-resolution absorption spectroscopy at room temperature as well as 250K, 200K, 150K and 80K and absorption coefficients are presented. A coprecipitation technique common in the ceramics field has been adapted for use creating precursors for hydrothermal crystal growth, including phase-pure polycrystalline anorthite and phase-pure gehlenite. Coprecipitation has also been utilized to gain greater control of dopants to create pre-doped feedstocks used for the growth of laser crystal. The versatility of the hydrothermal growth method is also highlighted in a novel epitaxial technique, core growth, which coats the internal surfaces of a seed crystal as well as external surfaces. This can result in multifunctional, layered crystals with no additional size, suitable for applications in need of constant miniaturization demanded by today’s industries.

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