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10 February 2011 Performance characterization of new erbium-doped fibers using MCVD nanoparticle doping process
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In 2009, we introduced a new doping concept involving Al2O3/rare-earth nanoparticles (NP) in a MCVD-compatible process finding potential applications in Erbium-, Ytterbium- or Erbium-Ytterbium-doped fiber amplifiers and lasers.1 This approach, motivated by the need for increased efficiencies and improved attributes, is characterized by the ability to control the rare-earth ion environment independently from the core composition. The NP matrix can therefore be viewed as an optimized sub-micronic amplifying medium for the embedded rareearth ion. The first experimental evidence to support this idea is reported in a comparative study with a standard process2 where homogeneous up-conversion (HUC) and pair-induced quenching (PIQ) levels are extracted from Er3+ unsaturable absorption measurements. NP-based fibers are found to mitigate the effects of the Er3+ concentration increase seen in standard heavily-doped fibers. This conclusion is particularly clear when focusing on the HUC coefficient evolution since, for a given type of NP, its level is independent from the Er3+ concentration in the doped zone. In this paper, we address our most recent work completing these preliminary results. First, we investigate the quenching signature of a new NP design and its behavior when incorporated in different core matrices. The interplay is further analysed by relating this set of measurements to practical EDFA performances. Gain and noise characteristics of typical WDM amplifiers operating points serve as key benchmarking indicators to identify the benefits of NP Erbium-doped fibers in the wide variety of EDFAs implementations.
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David Boivin, Alain Pastouret, Ekaterina Burov, Cédric Gonnet, Olivier Cavani, Simon Lempereur, and Pierre Sillard "Performance characterization of new erbium-doped fibers using MCVD nanoparticle doping process", Proc. SPIE 7914, Fiber Lasers VIII: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 791423 (10 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.873714;

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