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Beta-Barium Borate (β-BaB2O4,BBO) 

     Using  a  newly improved flux method, LaserMa now produces high quality   Beta-Barium Borate (β-BaB2O4,BBO)  cryatal boule with size up to diameter 135*32mm3. 

LaserMa’s BBO is featured by   

   Broad phase matchable range from 409.6 nm to 3500 nm;
   Wide transmission region from 190 nm to 3500 nm;
   Large effective second-harmonic-generation (SHG) coefficient about 6 times greater than that of KDP
   High damage threshold;
   High optical homogeneity with dn » 10-6/cm;
   Wide temperature-bandwidth of about 55°C.

LaserMa offers

• Strict quality control;
• Crystal length from 0.02mm to 25mm and size up to 15x15x15 mm3;
• P-coatings, AR-coatings, mounts and re-polishing services;
• A large quantity of crystals in stock
• Fast delivery (10 days for polished only,15 days for AR-coated).

Basic Properites
               Table 1.Chemical and Structural properties

Crystal Structure: Trigonal, space group R3c
Lattics Parameters: a=b=12.532Å, c=12.717Å, Z=6
Melting point About 1095℃
Mohs Hardness 4
Density 3.85g/cm3
Thermal Conductivity 1.2W/m/K(c): 1.6W/m/K(//c)
Thermal Expansion Coefficients   a11=4x10-6/K; a33=36x10-6/K

                                          Table 2.Optical and Nontinear Optical Properties

Transparency Range: 190-3500nm
SHG Phase Matchable Range 409.6-3500nm(Type I)    525-3500nm(Type II)
therm-optic Coefficients(/℃)  
Absorption Coefficients <0.1%/cm at 1064nm         <1%/cm at 532nm
Angle Acceptance

0.8mrad-cm      (θ, Type I,1064 SHG)   
1.27mrad-cm    (θ, Type II,1064 SHG)

Temperature Acceptance 55℃-cm
Spectral Acceptance 1.1nm-cm
Walk-off Angle

2.7°   (Type I 1064 SHG)
3.2°  (Type II 1064 SHG)

NLO Coefficients

deff (I)=d31sinθ+(d11cosΦ-d22sin3Φ)cosθ
deff (II)=(d11sin3Φ+d22cos3Φ)cos2θ

Non-vanished NLO susceptibilities


sellmeier Equations(λ in μm )

no2=2.7359+0.01878 / (λ2-0.01822) -0.01354 λ2
ne2=2.3753+0.01224 / (λ2-0.01667) -0.01516 λ2

Electro-optic coefficients:


Half-wave voltage: 7KV (at 1064nm,3*3*20mm3)
Resistivity: >1011 ohm-cm
Relative Dielectric Constant:

Tan δ<0.001

BBO is a negative uniaxial crystal,with ordinary refractive-index(no) larger than extraordinary refractive-index(ne).Both type I and type II phase-matching can be reached by angle-tuning.The phase matching angles of frequency doubling are shown in Fig.2.

Figure 1.Transparency curve of BBO Figure 2.SHG tuning curves of BBO

Application in Nd:YAG Lasers

BBO is an efficient NLO cyrstal for the second, third and fourth harmonic generation of Nd:YAG lasers,and the best NLO crystal for the fifth harmonic generation at 213nm. Conversion efficiencies of more than 70% for SHG,60% for THG and 50% for 4HG,and 200mW output at 213 nm(5HG)have been obtained,respectively.

BBO is also an efficient crystal for the intracavity SHG of high power Nd:YAG lasers. For the intracavity SHG of an acousto-optic Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, more than 15 W average power at 532 nm was generated in a LASERMA AR-coated BBO crystal. When pumped by the 600 mW SHG output of a mode-locked Nd:YLF laser, 66 mW output at 266 nm was produced from a Brewster-angle-cut BBO in an external enhanced resonant cavity.

Because of a small acceptance angle and large walk-off, good laser beam quality (small divergence, good mode condition,etc.) is the key for BBO to obtain high conversion efficiency. Tight focus of laser beam is not recommended by LASERMA's engineers.

Applications in Tunable Lasers

1.Dye lasers

Efficient UV output (205nm-310nm) with a SHG efficiency of over 10% at wavelength of ≥206nm was obtained in type I BBO, and 36% conversion efficiency was achieved for a XeC1-laser pumped Dye laser with power 150KW which is about 4-6 times higher than that in ADP. The shortest SHG wavelength of 204.97 nm with efficiency of about 1% has been generated.

LASERMA’s BBO is widely used in the Dye lasers. With type I sum-frequency of 780-950 nm and 248.5 nm (SHG output of 495 nm dye laser) in BBO, the shortest UV outputs ranging from 188.9nm to 197 nm and the pulse energy of 95 mJ at 193 nm and 8 mJ at 189 nm have been obtained, respectively.

2.Ultrafast Pulse Laser
Frequency-doubling and -tripling of ultrashort-pulse lasers are the applications in which BBO shows superior properties to KDP and ADP crystals. Now, LASERMA can provide as thin as 0.02mm BBO for this purpose. A laser pulse as short as 10 fs can be efficiently frequency-doubled with a thin BBO, in terms of both phase-velocity and group-velocity matching.

3.Ti:Sapphire and Alexandrite lasers
UV output in the region 360nm -390nm with pulse energy of 105 mJ(31% SHG efficiency) at 378 nm, and output in the region 244nm-259nm with 7.5 mJ(24% mixing efficiency) have been obtained for type I SHG and THG of an Alexandrite laser in BBO crystal.

More than 50% of SHG conversion efficiency in a Ti:Sapphire laser has been obtained. High conversion efficienies have been also obtained for the THG and FHG of Ti:Sapphire lasers.

4. Argon Ion and Copper-Vapor lasers
By employing the intracavit frequency-doubling technique in an Argon Ion laser with all lines output power of 2W, maximum 33 mW at 250.4 nm and thirty-six lines of deep UV wavelengths ranging from 228.9 nm to 257.2 nm were generated in a Brewster-angle-cut BBO crystal.

Up to 230 mW average power in the UV at 255.3 nm with maximum 8.9% conversion efficiency was achieved for the SHG of a Copper-Vapor laser at 510.6 nm.


The OPO and OPA of BBO are powerful tools for generating a widely tunable coherent radiation from the UV to IR. The tuning angles of type I and type II BBO OPO and OPA have been calculated, with the results shown in Fig.3and Fig.4, respectively.

1.OPO pumped at 532 nm
An OPO output ranging from 680 nm to 2400 nm with the peak power of 1.6MW and up to 30% energy conversion efficiency was obtained in a 7.2 mm long type I BBO. The input pump energy was 40 mJ at 532nm with pulse-width 75ps. With a longer crystal, higher conversion efficiency is expected.

2.OPO and OPA pumped at 355 nm
In the case of Nd:YAG pumping,BBO’s OPOs can generate more than 100mJ,with wavelength tunable from 400nm to 2000nm. Using LASERMA’s BBO crystal, the OPO system covers a tuning range from 400nm to 3100nm which guarantees a maximum of 30% and more than 18% conversion efficiency, over the wavelength range from 430nm to 2000nm.

Type II BBO can be used to decrease linewidth near the degenerate points. A linewidth as narrow as 0.05nm and usable conversion efficiency of 12% were obtained. However, a longer (>15mm) BBO should normally be used to decrease the oscillation threshold when employing the type II phase-matching scheme.

Pumping with a picosecond Nd:YAG at 355nm, a narrow-band(<0.3nm), high energy (>200μJ) and wide tunable (400nm to 2000nm) pulse has been produced by BBO’s OPAs. This OPA can reach as high as more than 50% conversion efficiency, and therefore is superior to common Dye lasers in many respects, including efficiency, tunable range, maintenance, and easiness in design and operation. Furthermore, coherent radiation from 205 nm to 3500 nm can be also generated by BBO’s OPO or OPA plus a BBO for SHG.

Figure3.Type I OPO turning curves of BBO Figure4,Type Ii OPO tuning curves of BBO

A tunable OPO with signal wavelengths between 422 nm and 477 nm has been generated by angle tuning in a type I BBO crystal pumped by the fourth harmonic of a Nd:YAG laser (at 266 nm) has been observed to cover the whole range of output wavelengths 330 nm -1370nm.

When pumped by a 1mJ, 80fs Dye laser at 615 nm,the OPA with two BBO crystals yields more than 50μJ (maximum 130μJ),<200fs ultrashort pulse, over 800 nm-2000 nm.

BBO`s E-O Applications

BBO can also be used for E-O applications.It has wide transmission range from UV to about 3500nm and it has much higher damage threshold than KD*P or LiNbO3, More than 80W output power and 50KHZ repitition rate have been reached by using LASERMA`s E-O BBO crystals and Nd:YVO4 crystals as gain media. At 5K HZ,its pulse has width as short as 6.4ns,and energy of 5.7mJ or peak power of 900 KW.It has advantages over the commercial A-O Q-switched one , including a very short pulse,high beam quality and size compact as well. Although it has a relative small electro-optic coefficient,the Half-wave voltage is high (7KV at 1064nm,3*3*20mm3),long and thin BBO can reduce the voltage requirements.LASERMA now can supply 25mm long and 1mm thin high optica quality of BBO crystal with Z-cut, AR-coated and Gold/Chrome plated on the side faces.


LASERMA provides the following AR-coatings for BBO:

  • Dual Band AR-coating (DBAR)of BBO for SHG of 1064nm 
          low reflectance (R<0.2% at 1064nm and R<0.5% at 532nm);
          high damage threshold (>300MW/cm2 at both wqvelengths);
          long durability;
  • Broad Band AR-coating (BBAR) of BBO for SHG of tunable lasers.
  • Broad Band P-coating of BBO for OPO applications.
  • Other coatings are available upon request.

LASERMA Warranty on BBO Specifications

  • Dimension tolerance:
        (W±0.1mm)x(H±0.1mm)x(L+0.5/-0.1mm)   (L≥2.5mm) 
        (W±0.1mm)x(H±0.1mm)x(L+0.1/-0.1mm)   (L<2.5mm)  
  •  Clear aperture  :central 90% or the diameter  
  • No visible scattering paths or centers when inspected by a 50mW green Laser
  •   Flatness: less than λ/8 @ 633nm
  • Transmitting wavefront distortion: less than   λ/8 @ 633nm
  • Chamfer: ≤0.2mmx45°
  • Chip:  ≤0.1mm
  • Scratch/Dig code: better than 10/5 to MIL-PRF-13830B
  • Parallelism: ≤20 arc seconds
  • Perpendicularity:≤5 arc minutes
  • Angle tolerance:≤0.25°
  • Damage threshold[GW/cm2]:
    >1 for 1064nm,TEM00,10ns,10HZ  (polished  only),
    >0.5 for 1064nm,TEM00,10ns,10HZ(AR-coated) ;
    >0.3 for 532nm,TEM00,10ns,10HZ(AR-coatd) 
  •   Quality Warranty Period: one year under proper use.


  • BBO has a low susceptibility to the moisture. The user is advised to provide dry conditions for both the use  and preservation of BBO.
  • BBO is relatively soft and therefore requires precautions to protect its polished surfaces.
  • When angle adjusting is necessary, keep in mind that the acceptance angle of BBO is small.
  • LASERMA engineers can select and design the best crystal, if the main parameters of your laser are  provided, such as energy per pulse, pulse width and repetition rate for a pulsed laser, power for a  cw laser, laser beam diameter, mode condition, divergence, wavelength tuning range, etc.
  • For thin crystal,LASERMA can provide free holder for you .
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