An ytterbium (Yb) doped polarizing fiber is demonstrated. The fiber offers the opportunity to build all-fiber lasers with single polarization output and without the need for free-space polarizing components. Traditional single polarization fiber lasers utilize polarization-maintaining (PM) gain fiber with a single polarization stimulation signal. Whilst this results in an approximation to a single polarization laser, the spontaneous emission from the unstimulated polarization state limits the polarization extinction ratio (PER). The PER is further limited as the stimulated signal is prone to crosstalk. Furthermore, controlling amplitude modulation of the stimulated signal is critical for maximizing the peak power of an optical pulse, particularly for high energy lasers. If light is allowed to leak in to the unstimulated axis it will travel at a different velocity to the stimulated axis and can cross-couple back into the signal axis, creating an interference effect which leads to amplitude modulation on the signal pulse. Single-polarization Yb-doped fiber ensures that light on the fast axis is constantly attenuated; ensuring that light on the unstimulated axis cannot propagate and thus cannot degrade the PER or create amplitude modulation. In this paper we report on, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of a single polarization Yb-doped bowtie optical fiber manufactured using a combination of Modified Chemical Vapor Deposition (MCVD) and rare-earth solution doping technology. The fiber has a single-polarization window of 80nm at the operating wavelength of 1060nm and a PER of >18dB. The fabrication and characterization of the fiber is reported.
A. Gillooly, A. S. Webb, F. C. Favero, T. Bouchan, L. J. Cooper, D. Read, and M. Hill, "Yb-doped polarizing fiber," Proc. SPIE 10100, Optical Components and Materials XIV, 101000E (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253833.
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