19 August 2011 Experimental study on narrow linewidth fiber ring laser based on parallel feedback mechanism
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Narrow linewidth fiber lasers are intensively studied during these years, for their wide use in coherent optical communication, optical fiber sensing, high-precision spectroscopy and many other industrial and military applications. A usual technique to suppress linewidth is narrow band filtering in the resonating structure of the laser. However, it is hard in fabrication for a tradition optical filter to achieve an ultra narrow pass band such as kilo-Hertz. In this paper, the parallel feedback structure is proposed and experimentally studied. A fiber laser with ultra narrow linewidth (15Hz detected) is achieved in laboratory, basing on the parallel feedback mechanism in a fiber ring cavity. In multimode fiber, each transverse mode has a different propagation constant. Equivalently, when a light beam propagates form single mode fiber to multimode fiber, it will split into a few parallel light paths with different propagation constants. The parallel feedback structure of a fiber ring laser is carried out by introducing one or more pieces of multi-mode fiber into its resonant cavity. Lasing light in the cavity must fit the restrictions of all light paths, thus linewidth of the laser output is suppressed. Ultra narrow linewidth can be achieved by carefully adjusting the amount and length of multi-mode fiber pieces. The narrowest linewidth achieved in laboratory is 15Hz detected by a delayed self-heterodyne interferometer with a 100km fiber delay line. In this work, we focus on pressuring linewidth, and mechanism of selecting and stabilizing mode isn't employed. Therefore, the narrow linewidth fiber laser isn't single-longitudinal-mode (SLM). A similar ring laser structure with bidirectional output is also experimental implemented, achieving a bandwidth of the same order. The bidirectional ring laser is the basic component of a laser gyroscope, and its linewidth is one key limiting factor of the gyroscope accuracy. This narrow linewidth bidirectional ring laser is a good candidate for accurate fiber laser gyroscope. Theory analysis and experiment shows the fiber ring laser based on parallel feedback structure is robust against environmental disturbance, achieving high stability and ultra narrow linewidth. The parallel feedback mechanism in optical circuits can also used in other applications demanding narrow linewidth.
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Cui-yun Wang, Da-liang Wang, Zi-nan Wang, Ping Lu, Lian-yu Xu, Xiao-qi Yu, Yun Jiang, Li-xin Zhu, Zheng-bin Li, "Experimental study on narrow linewidth fiber ring laser based on parallel feedback mechanism", Proc. SPIE 8192, International Symposium on Photoelectronic Detection and Imaging 2011: Laser Sensing and Imaging; and Biological and Medical Applications of Photonics Sensing and Imaging, 81922P (19 August 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.900736; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.900736

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