All-PM Thulium Doped Fiber Laser System

Alejandro M. Alderete

Abstract


Fiber-based laser systems are convenient and have become a primary tool in applications ranging from optical communications to directed energy systems for defense applications. The technology of these lasers based on ytterbium (Yb3+)-doped silica fiber lasers has matured significantly in recent years and has become the primary commercial product in the domain for high-energy applications. A down side is the wavelength range (1000 – 1100 nm) emitted by these lasers pose a serious eye hazard. An alternative and efficient alternative to this technology is a fiber laser based on thulium (Tm3+)-doped silica fiber. Thulium-doped fiber lasers are advantageous because they operated in a wavelength range (1850 – 2100 nm) that is considered ‘eye-safe’. This range has broad applications in free-space optical communications, directed energy systems, and remote sensing. In this research we focused on building an all-fiber continuous-wave laser using single-mode, polarization maintaining Tm-doped silica fiber and components. The output of this laser has a potentially tunable wavelength range of 1850 – 2100 nm and operates in a single polarization mode. Along with higher power capabilities, Tm-doped fibers have the possibility of high efficiencies peaking at 80%. We used commercial-grade fusion fiber splicer to integrate all components and build a laser resonator.


Keywords


Laser, Thulium, Fiber, Photonics

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