Influence of L-Alanine doping on crystalline perfection, SHG efficiency, optical and mechanical properties of KDP single crystals

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Pure and l-alanine (LA) doped single crystals of potassium dihydrogen orthophosphate (KDP) were grown by slow evaporation solution technique (SEST) in aqueous solution at ambient temperature. Powder X-ray diffraction study was done to confirm the crystal system and lattice parameters of KDP. No additional phases were observed at all doping concentrations (1–7.5mol%), which was further confirmed by FT–Raman spectroscopy analysis. The influence of LA doping on the crystalline perfection was assessed by high-resolution X-ray diffractometry (HRXRD) analysis. HRXRD studies revealed that the grown crystals could accommodate LA at the interstitial positions in the crystalline matrix of KDP up to some critical concentration without any deterioration in the crystalline perfection. Above this concentration, very low angle structural grain boundaries were developed and it seems that the excess LA above the critical concentration was segregated along the grain boundaries. The SHG efficiency was measured using the Kurtz powder technique. The relative SHG efficiency of the crystals was found to be increased with doping concentration up to 5mol% and above this it decreases. Optical transmission study also revealed the same behavior with enhancement up to 5mol% concentration and later decreased. The hardness values were found to be increased by increasing the doping concentration.