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The subgigahertz spectral bandwidth of the lowest energy 1.5mum Er3+ I15/24-->I13/24 optical transition in Er3+:Y2SiO5 has been increased to ˜22GHz by intentionally introducing compositional disorder through codoping with Eu3+ impurity ions. This illustrates a general bandwidth control technique for spectral hole burning device applications including spatial-spectral holography and quantum computing. Coherence measurements by stimulated photon echoes demonstrated that the increased disorder does not perturb the dynamical properties of the Er3+ transition and, thus, gives the desired bandwidth enhancement without penalty in other properties. The echo measurements and model analysis also show that phonon-driven spin flips of Er3+ ions in the ground state are responsible for the spectral diffusion that was observed for the optical transition. These results collectively give a better understanding of both the nature of disorder and of the ion-ion interactions in doped materials, and they also enable the high bandwidths required for signal processing and memory applications at 1.5mum based on spectral hole burning.


Copyright 2008 American Physical Society

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