Compressive epitactic layers grown on single‐crystal substrates are shown to substantially improve mechanical durability. In this study, neodymium‐substituted gadolinium gallium garnet (GGG) layers are grown on undoped GGG substrates. The layers are found to dramatically improve the abrasion resistance of the substrates, but to have only a slight effect on strength. Abrasion treatments, which cause up to 20 times decrease in the strength of substrates without epitactic layers, do not cause a significant decrease in the strength of substrates with these compressive surface layers. This permits the high strength of specially prepared strong substrates to be retained after abrasion.

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