Fiber Lasers at ~1.55 μm

Authored by: Liang Dong , Bryce Samson

Fiber Lasers

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498725545
eBook ISBN: 9781315370521
Adobe ISBN:


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A strong interest in erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs) in the late 1980s led to a wide availability of related components and necessary equipment, which spurred initial research in a variety of erbium-doped fiber lasers in the early 1990s, including single-frequency fiber lasers and multiple-wavelength lasers for potential use as transmitters in telecommunication systems and Q-switched and mode-locked lasers. Most of those fiber lasers were core-pumped lasers with powers of less than a few hundred milliwatts. Single-mode diode lasers had maximum power levels of just a few hundred milliwatts then and reached a limit of ∼1 W around the late 1990s. One exception was Er/Yb co-doped fiber amplifiers, which enabled the use of more powerful solid-state lasers as pumps. In an early demonstration using a pump at 1047 nm from an Nd3+:YLF laser which was in turn pumped by a 3 W AlGaAs diode array, the output power reached 288.4 mW (24.6 dB/m) [1]. The high output powers at 1–2 W were very useful for cable TV networks, which are essentially a distribution system and rely on splitting of a central feed to a large number of households. High power also later became more critical for fiber amplifiers used in increasingly deployed wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) systems in the 1990s, where the large channel counts demanded more powerful amplifiers.

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