Kailing Zhang

Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Physics & Astrophysics

First Advisor

Kanishka Marasinghe


Rare earth phosphate glasses (REPGs) are excellent materials for high energy (103 - 106 J) / high peak power ( 1012 - 1015 W) lasers. Previous work of the rare earth doped sodium phosphate glasses with compositions (R2O3)x(Na2O)y(P2O5)1-x-y where R= Nd, Eu and Dy, 0.04 < x < 0.13 showed that the intensity of the emission spectra increases with decreasing R2O3 content. In this study, praseodymium doped sodium phosphate glasses with even lower praseodymium oxide concentrations, (Pr2O3)x(Na2O)yP2O5)1-x-y , where 0.005 < x < 0.05 were processed and characterized focusing on the region where the lasing efficiency is possibly going to peak. Emission spectra for the glass samples were measured to study how the florescence efficiency change with Pr3+ concentration. High Energy X-ray diffraction technique was used to study the atomic-scale structure of the rare-earth doped sodium phosphate glass samples. Structural features such as inter-atomic distances, coordination numbers and their dependence on the concentration of the rare earth oxides were gained from analyzing pair distribution functions extracted from diffraction data.