19 February 2009 Pulsed Tm-doped fiber lasers for mid-IR frequency conversion
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Fiber lasers are an ideal pump source for nonlinear frequency conversion because they have the capability to generate short pulses with high peak-powers and excellent beam quality. Thulium-doped silica fibers allow for pulse generation and amplification in the 2-micron spectral band. This opens the door to a variety of nonlinear crystals, such as ZnGeP2 (ZGP) and orientation patterned GaAs (OPGaAs), which cannot be pumped by Yb- or Er-doped fiber laser directly due to high losses in the near-IR band. These crystals combine low losses with high nonlinearities and transparency for efficient nonlinear mid-IR converters. Using such nonlinear crystals and a pulsed Tm-doped master oscillator fiber amplifier (MOFA), we have demonstrated efficient mid-IR generation with watts of output power in the 3-5μm region. The Tm-doped MOFA is capable of generating from 10 to 100W of average output power at a variety of repetition rates (10kHz - >500kHz) and pulse widths (10ns - >100ns). Total mid-IR power is only limited by thermal effects in the nonlinear materials. The use of Tm-doped fiber-pumped OPOs shows the path toward compact, efficient, and lightweight mid-IR laser systems.
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Daniel Creeden, Daniel Creeden, Peter A. Budni, Peter A. Budni, Peter A. Ketteridge, Peter A. Ketteridge, "Pulsed Tm-doped fiber lasers for mid-IR frequency conversion", Proc. SPIE 7195, Fiber Lasers VI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 71950X (19 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.807208; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.807208


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