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27 April 2016 Improved optical efficiency of bulk laser amplifiers with femtosecond written waveguides
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In the paper we proposed improved technique of three-dimensional waveguides writing with direct femtosecond laser inscription technology. The technique allows, for the first time of our knowledge, production of waveguides with mode field diameter larger than 200 μm. This result broadens field of application of femtosecond writing technology into bulk laser schemes and creates an opportunity to develop novel amplifiers with increased efficiency. We proposed a novel architecture of laser amplifier that combines free-space propagation of signal beam with low divergence and propagation of pump irradiation inside femtosecond written waveguide with large mode field diameter due to total internal reflection effect. Such scheme provides constant tight confinement of pump irradiation over the full length of active laser element (3-10 cm). The novel amplifier architecture was investigated numerically and experimentally in Nd:phosphate glass. Waveguides with 200 μm mode field diameter were written with high frequency femtosecond oscillator. Proposed technique of three-dimensional waveguides writing based on decreasing and compensation of spherical aberration effect due to writing in heat cumulative regime and dynamic pulse energy adjustment at different depths of writing. It was shown, that written waveguides could increase optical efficiency of amplifier up to 4 times compared with corresponding usual free-space schemes. Novelty of the results consists in technique of femtosecond writing of waveguides with large mode field diameter. Actuality of the results consists in originally proposed architecture allows to improve up to 4 times optical efficiency of conventional bulk laser schemes and especially ultrafast pulse laser amplifiers.
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Mikhail A. Bukharin, Andrey Lyashedko, Nikolay N. Skryabin, Dmitriy V. Khudyakov, and Sergey K. Vartapetov "Improved optical efficiency of bulk laser amplifiers with femtosecond written waveguides", Proc. SPIE 9893, Laser Sources and Applications III, 98930G (27 April 2016);

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