We report on the performance of monolithic, polarization maintaining, Er-doped photonic crystal fibers (PCF) and
amplifiers operating in the eye-safer wavelength regime from 1.55-1.6 um. As part of this effort, we have developed
novel 6x1+1 pump/signal combiners for air-clad photonic crystal fibers with six 0.22 NA, 200/220 um pump input fibers
and a 25/250 PM signal fiber that allow efficient pump and signal coupling to the air-clad Er-doped PCF. These etched
air taper combiners have been demonstrated at the kilowatt level under 976 nm pumping and perform an efficient
brightness transformation from 0.19 NA, 1532 nm fiber coupled diode pumps into the 0.6 NA air-clad Er-doped PCF
with a measured pump throughput efficiency of 88-92% and a signal throughput of 65-80% with a PER of <18 dB.
These novel combiners have been efficiently spliced to 40 um core, 200 um pump cladding Er-doped PCFs providing
high efficiency resonantly pumped, monolithic, eye-safer PCF fiber lasers and amplifiers. Using grating stabilized 1532
nm pump diodes, our current experiments have demonstrated single transverse mode operation of both monolithic eyesafer
PCF lasers and amplifiers at the multi-Watt level with slope efficiencies of over 55%.