High power short pulse fiber lasers are applied in industry for many ablation processes or various surface treatments, and there is a huge demand for such lasers but with higher average power, higher pulse energy and higher peak power. This contribution presents a high peak- and average- power fiber laser with selectable pulse durations between 10 ns and 100 ns, where more than 150 mJ pulse energy has been achieved at a repetition rate of 10 kHz. In addition, for a laser pulse with 30 ns pulse duration a maximum peak power of more than 3.5 MW at more than 1 kW average output power have been demonstrated. These results could be achieved by applying extra-large mode area (XLMA) gain fibers (fiber core <100 μm) in the fiber amplifiers and using pulse shape capabilities of the seed laser, only. Stable and safe operation of the fiber laser have been shown with power densities up to 3 GW/cm² in the gain fiber. In order to protect the fiber laser to be affected by back reflections from the workpiece, a newly designed optical isolator with more than 30 dB isolation has been implemented.
Pulsed fiber lasers and continuous-wave (cw) fiber lasers have become the tool of choice in more and more laser based industrial applications like metal cutting and welding mainly because of their robustness, compactness, high brightness, high efficiency and reasonable costs. However, to further increase the productivity with those laser types there is a great demand for even higher laser power specifications. In this context we demonstrate a pulsed high peak- and averagepower fiber laser in a Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) configuration with selectable pulse durations between 1 ns and several hundred nanoseconds. To overcome fiber nonlinearities such as stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and self-phase-modulation (SPM) flexible Ytterbium doped extra-large mode area (XLMA) step index fibers, prepared by novel powder-sinter technology, have been used as gain fibers. As an example, for 12 ns pulses with a repetition rate of 10 kHz, a pump power limited average laser output power of more than 400 W in combination with peak powers of more than 3.5 MW (close to self-focusing-threshold) has been achieved in stable operation. The potentials of this laser system have been further explored towards longer pulse durations in order to achieve even higher pulse energies by means of pulse shaping techniques. In addition, investigations have been conducted with reduced pulse energies and repetition rates up to 500 kHz and average powers of more than 500 W at nearly diffraction limited beam quality.