Stimulated Raman scattering gives back reflection sensitivity to a high power fiber laser. Therefor SRS suppression is necessary in order to realize stable laser processing by a high power fiber laser. A 5-kW single-mode ytterbium doped fiber laser with a 20-m long delivery fiber has been realized. The fiber laser is an all-fiber single-stage Fabry-Perot system in a co-pumping configuration. The optical to optical efficiency was 80% at the output power of 5.0 kW. And the M-squared figure of 1.3 was obtained. The Stokes light by SRS is suppressed to 45 dB below the laser output by using fibers with the effective mode area of 600 μm2 . While SRS was well suppressed, four wave mixing was observed with the frequency shift of ~6 THz. Four wave mixing between the fundamental mode and the secondary modes is believed to take place. Four wave mixing is believed not to give back reflection sensitivity to the fiber laser. The 5-kW single-mode fiber laser was applied to laser processing. Bead-on-plate tests were carried out with a galvanometer scanner. The laser ran without stopping nor damaging the laser system even during processing highly reflective material. This implies that our SRS suppressed single-mode fiber laser can be used practically in most of processing systems.
A 3 kW single stage all-fiber Yb-doped single-mode fiber laser with bi-directional pumping configuration has been demonstrated. Our newly developed high-power LD modules are employed for a high available pump power of 4.9 kW. The length of the delivery fiber is 20 m which is long enough to be used in most of laser processing machines. An output power of 3 kW was achieved at a pump power of 4.23 kW. The slope efficiency was 70%. SRS was able to be suppressed at the same output power by increasing ratio of backward pump power. The SRS level was improved by 5dB when 57% backward pump ratio was adopted compared with the case of 50%. SRS was 35dB below the laser power at the output power of 3 kW even with a 20-m delivery fiber. The M-squared factor was 1.3. Single-mode beam quality was obtained. To evaluate practical utility of the 3 kW single-mode fiber laser, a Bead-on-Plate (BoP) test onto a pure copper plate was executed. The BoP test onto a copper plate was made without stopping or damaging the laser system. That indicates our high power single-mode fiber lasers can be used practically in processing of materials with high reflectivity and high thermal conductivity.
A 2 kw single-mode fiber laser with a 20-m long delivery fiber and high back reflection resistance has been demonstrated. An Yb-doped fiber with large core size and differential modal gain is used to realize high SRS suppression and single-mode operation simultaneously. The 20 m-long delivery fiber gives flexibility to the design of processing systems. An output power of 2 kW is achieved at a pump power of 2.86 kW. The slope efficiency is 70%. The power of the Stokes light is less than -50 dB below the laser power at the output power of 2 kW even with a 20-m delivery fiber. Nearly diffraction-limited beam quality is also confirmed (M2 = 1.2). An output power of 3 kW is believed to be achieved by increasing pumping power. The back reflection resistance properties of the fabricated singlemode fiber laser is evaluated numerically by the SRS gain calculated from measured laser output spectra and fiber characteristics. The acceptable power of the back reflection light into the fiber core is estimated to be 500 W which is high enough for processing of highly reflective materials. The output power fluctuation caused by SRS and back reflection in materials processing will be well suppressed. Our high power single-mode fiber lasers can provide high quality and stable processing of highly reflective materials.