12 March 2014 Ho-doped fiber for high energy laser applications
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Abstract
Ho-doped fiber lasers are of interest for high energy laser applications because they operate in the eye safer wavelength range and in a window of high atmospheric transmission. Because they can be resonantly pumped for low quantum defect operation, thermal management issues are anticipated to be tractable. A key issue that must be addressed in order to achieve high efficiency and minimize thermal issues is parasitic absorption in the fiber itself. Hydroxyl contamination arising from the process for making the Ho-doped fiber core is the principal offender due to a combination band of Si-O and O-H vibrations that absorbs at 2.2 μm in the Ho3+ emission wavelength region. We report significant progress in lowering the OH content to 0.16 ppm, which we believe is a record level. Fiber experiments using a 1.94 μm thulium fiber laser to resonantly clad pump a triple clad Ho-doped core fiber have shown a slope efficiency of 62%, which we also believe is a record for a cladding-pumped laser. Although pump-power limited, the results of these studies demonstrate the feasibility of power scaling Ho-doped fiber lasers well above the currently-reported 400-W level.1
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E. Joseph Friebele, Charles G. Askins, John R. Peele, Barbara Marcheschi Wright, Nicholas J. Condon, Shawn O'Connor, Christopher G. Brown, Steven R. Bowman, "Ho-doped fiber for high energy laser applications", Proc. SPIE 8961, Fiber Lasers XI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 896120 (12 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041577; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041577
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