We demonstrate flexible performance in a fiber MOPA system based on nLIGHT’s PFL seed laser platform and chirally coupled core (3C®) fiber. The 33μm core, 27μm MFD 3C fiber used in these demonstrations is fabricated in volume at nLIGHT’s Finland facility. A variety of pulse formats are amplified to nonlinearity-limited peak power <300kW, including single pulses in the 50ps to 1ns regime at a variety of repetition rates from 10’s of kHz to MHz. Beam quality in these 3C based MOPAs is exceptional with M2<1.15 and circularity <95% at all power levels. Beam pointing often evident in other LMA fiber technologies due to higher order mode content is minimal in these fiber MOPAs. Burst mode operation of the seed laser system using flexible burst packet repetition rates (10’s of kHz to several MHz) and adjustable pulse-to-pulse spacing within bursts (<10ns to 100ns) is demonstrated and amplified in the same 3C fibers. Bursts of up to ten 50ps pulses amplified to total energies exceeding 160μJ are demonstrated at 200kHz burst repetition rate and 32W average power at high efficiency (74% slope). Bursts of up to five 500ps pulses are also amplified to up to 360μJ total energy. In both cases, the varying degree of pulse saturation win a burst and mitigation paths are reviewed.
We demonstrate a robust, compact, low-cost, pulsed, linearly polarized, 1064 nm, Yb:fiber laser system capable of generating ~100 kW peak power pulses and >17 W average power at repetition rates of 80 – 285 kHz. The system employs a configurable microchip seed laser that provides nanosecond (~1.0 – 1.5 ns) pulse durations. The seed pulses are amplified in an all-fiber, polarization maintaining, large mode area (LMA) fiber amplifier optimized for high peak power operation. The LMA Yb:fiber amplifier enables near diffraction limited beam quality at 100 kW peak power. The seed laser, fiber amplifier, and beam delivery optics are packaged into an air-cooled laser head of 152×330×87 mm<sup>3</sup> with pump power provided from a separate air-cooled laser controller. Due to the high peak power, high beam quality, spectral purity, and linearly polarized nature of the output beam, the laser is readily frequency doubled to 532 nm. Average 532 nm powers up to 7 W and peak powers exceeding 40 kW have been demonstrated. Potential for scaling to higher peak and average powers in both the green and infrared (IR) will be discussed. This laser system has been field tested and demonstrated in numerous materials processing applications in both the IR and green, including scribing and marking. We discuss recent results that demonstrate success in processing a diverse array of representative industrial samples.