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17 February 2010 Optically switched erbium fiber laser using a tunable fiber-Bragg grating
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The ability to tune the Bragg wavelength of a fibre-Bragg grating (FBG) in an all-fibre laser can offer added functionality such as laser wavelength tunability, polarization selectivity,1 and Q-switching.2 Compared to current techniques which rely on mechanically straining the FBG to achieve Bragg-wavelength tunability, an all-optical technique for tuning an FBG offers potentially faster switching speeds and a more robust and simple cavity. All-optical tuning of the Bragg wavelength of an FBG has been demonstrated previously by resonant optical pumping; however this technique has only been applied to passive systems for switching applications.3 In this work, we have further investigated this optical-tuning process, experimentally identifying three time-scale regimes, and optimised it for application to active systems. Furthermore, we constructed an erbium all-fibre laser cavity consisting of an outputcoupler FBG and an optically-tunable, high-reflector FBG. The cavity pumping and the optical tuning of the FBG were kept independent. By repetitively tuning the high-reflector FBG on- and off-resonance with the output-coupler FBG, we actively Q-switched the erbium fibre laser at repetition rates up to 35 kHz, limited only by our diode driver. We show that grating tuning at >300 kHz is possible with the existing embodiment, and discuss further potential to operate at MHz rates.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert J. Williams, Nemanja Jovanovic, Graham D. Marshall, and Michael J. Withford "Optically switched erbium fiber laser using a tunable fiber-Bragg grating", Proc. SPIE 7580, Fiber Lasers VII: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 75800P (17 February 2010);


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