Reversible jump of thermal emission accompanied with jump of photocurrent is observed in highly doped Yb3+:Y2O3 and Lu2O3 bulk ceramics pumped at 940nm wavelength. In contrast, when these materials are heated with a CO2 laser at 10.6μm wavelength, only a gradual increase of thermal emission and photoconductivity are observed up to the melting point. These results are interpreted as a ytterbium mediated, photoassisted avalanche of thermal emission.

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