Fiber lasers provide the perfect basis to develop broadly tunable lasers with high efficiency, excellent beam quality and user-friendly operation as they are increasingly demanded by applications in biophotonics and spectroscopy. Recently, a novel tuning scheme has been presented using fiber Bragg grating (FBG) arrays as fiber-integrated spectral filters containing many standard FBGs with different feedback wavelengths. Based on the discrete spectral sampling, these reflective filters uniquely enable tailored tuning ranges and broad bandwidths to be implemented into fiber lasers. Even though the first implementation of FBG arrays in pulsed tunable lasers based on a sigma ring resonators works with good emission properties, the laser wavelength is tuned by a changing repetition rate, which causes problems with applications in synchronized environments.
In this work, we present a modified resonator scheme to maintain a constant repetition rate over the tuning range and still benefit from the advantages of FBG arrays as filters. With a theta ring cavity and two counter propagating filter passes, the distributed feedback of the FBG array is compensated resulting in a constant pulse round trip time for each filter wavelength. Together with an adapted gating scheme controlling the emission wavelength with a modulator, the tuning principle has been realized based on a Ytterbium-doped fiber laser. We present first experimental results demonstrating a tuning range of 25nm, high signal contrast and pulse durations of about 10ns. With the prospect of tailored tuning ranges, this pulsed fiber-integrated laser may be the basis to tackle challenging applications in spectroscopy.
Tobias Tiess, Martin Becker, Manfred Rothhardt, Hartmut Bartelt, and Matthias L. Jäger, "Tunable Yb-doped fiber laser based on a FBG array and a theta ring resonator ensuring a constant repetition rate (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10083, Fiber Lasers XIV: Technology and Systems, 100831D (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 01, 2017; Published: 21 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2250315.5383482376001.
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