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24 January 2012 Radiation-resistant erbium-doped optical fiber for space applications
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In the last decade, there has been increased interest in photonic technology for new satellite applications. One critical issue is the high sensitivity to radiative environments of the Erbium Doped Fiber (EDF). It leads to a radiation-induced absorption (RIA) that is not due to erbium content but mainly to the aluminium that ensures the erbium inclusion in glass. As the radiation induced losses grow as an exponential function of fiber length, the principal way so far to reduce EDFA degradation has consisted in increasing erbium concentration using conventional doping techniques. However, this is limited by the quenching effect, which impacts the fiber length needed to reach high gain, but also by the Aluminium-induced RIA. It has been recently proposed an original nanoparticle (NP) doping approach, which allows codopant content decrease with reduced quenching impact, while keeping EDF amplifying performances. A radiation-resistant amplifier can thus be designed as a "quenching-free", heavily-erbium-doped amplifier with low RIA. We demonstrate for the first time an aluminium-free EDF, exhibiting low quenching and low RIA. Despite the lack of aluminium, using silica NPs allows an erbium concentration close to the one of standard EDFs (200 ppm). This fiber is compared to a 1400 ppm Erbium-doped optical fiber with a strong aluminium concentration. Whereas the two fibers exhibit similar initial optical gain (15 dB under saturation conditions), the NP doped Al-free EDF shows only 2 dB gain reduction after a 600 Gy gamma deposit, while the Al/Er EDF incurs more than 10 dB gain degradation.
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Jérémie Thomas, Mikhaël Myara, Philippe Signoret, Alain Pastouret, Ekaterina Burov, David Boivin, Olivier Cavani, Michel Sotom, Michel Maignan, and Olivier Gilard "Radiation-resistant erbium-doped optical fiber for space applications", Proc. SPIE 8284, Next-Generation Optical Communication: Components, Sub-Systems, and Systems, 82840T (24 January 2012);

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