Spontaneous noise of birefringence in rare-earth doped glasses

V. O. Kozlov, I. I. Ryzhov, G. G. Kozlov, E. V. Kolobkova, V. S. Zapasskii
Condensed Matter, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks, Disordered Systems and Neural Networks (cond-mat.dis-nn), Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics (cond-mat.mes-hall)
2023-06-15 16:00:00
We report on first direct observation of spontaneous fluctuations of birefringence in glasses doped with rare-earth (RE) ions. The fluctuations were observed in Nd$^{3+}$- and Yb$^{3+}$-doped glasses as polarization noise of the laser beam transmitted through the sample in the region of the RE-ion absorption. The noise was characterized by a flat (``white'') spectrum in the range of frequencies up to 1 GHz and did not show any dependence on magnetic field. The discovered polarization noise is interpreted in terms of structural dynamics of glasses revealed at low temperatures and usually described in the model of tunneling two-level systems (TLS). High sensitivity of the polarization noise technique to this dynamics is related to small homogeneous width of \textit{f-f} transitions of RE-ions in glasses and small spectral width of the probe laser light. The discovered effect provides a new experimental approach to studying low-temperature structural dynamics of different disordered matrices and interactions of impurities with environment in such media.
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