A multi-stage linearly polarized (PM) (15 dB) pulsed fiber laser system at 1550 nm capable of operating at repetition rates between 3 and 20 kHz was investigated. A narrow linewidth seed source was linewidth broadened to approximately 20 GHz and pulses were created and shaped via an electro-optic modulator (EOM) in conjunction with a home built arbitrary waveform generator. As expected, a high repetition rate pulse train with a near diffraction limited beam quality (M2~1.12) was achieved. However, the ability to store energy was limited by the number of active ions within the erbium/ytterbium doped gain fiber within the various stages. As a result, the maximum energy per pulse achievable from the system was approximately 0.3 and 0.38 mJ for 300 ns and 1 μs pulses, respectively, at 3 kHz. Because the system was operated at high inversion, the erbium/ytterbium doped optical fiber preferred to lase at 1535 nm versus 1550 nm resulting in amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) both intra- and inter-pulse. For the lower power stages, the ASE was controllable via a EOM whose function was to block the energy between pulses as well as ASE filters whose purpose was to block spectral components outside of the 1550 nm passband. For the higher power stages, the pump diodes were pulsed to enable strategic placement of an inversion resulting in higher intrapulse energies as well as an improved spectrum of the signal. When optimized, this system will be used to seed higher power solid state amplifier stages.
Michael Klopfer, Matthew K. Block, James Deffenbaugh, Zak G. Fitzpatrick, Michael T. Urioste, Leanne J. Henry, and Ravinder Jain, "Control of pulse format in high energy per pulse all-fiber erbium/ytterbium laser systems," Proc. SPIE 10090, Laser Resonators, Microresonators, and Beam Control XIX, 100901N (Presented at SPIE LASE: February 02, 2017; Published: 20 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2248910.
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