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When used as optical parametric oscillators, CdSiP2 crystals generate tunable output in the mid-infrared. Their performance, however, is often limited by unwanted optical absorption bands that overlap the pump wavelengths. A broad defect-related optical absorption band peaking near 800 nm, with a shoulder near 1 µm, can be photoinduced at room temperature in many CdSiP2 crystals. This absorption band is efficiently produced with 633 nm laser light and decays with a lifetime of ∼0.5 s after removal of the excitation light. The 800 nm band is accompanied by a less intense absorption band peaking near 1.90 µm. Data from eight CdSiP2crystals grown at different times show that the singly ionized silicon vacancy (V-Si) is responsible for the photoinduced absorption bands. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is used to identify and directly monitor these silicon vacancies. © 2017 Optical Society of America


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Optical Materials Express