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Large mode area fibers for high power laser operation based on solid- and air-microstructured cores

: Schreiber, T.; Röser, F.; Liem, A.; Limpert, J.; Zellmer, H.; Tünnermann, A.


Durvasula, L.N. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Fiber lasers II: Technology, systems, and applications : 24 - 27 January 2005, San Jose, California, USA
Bellingham/Wash.: SPIE, 2005 (SPIE Proceedings Series 5709)
ISBN: 0-8194-5683-7
Photonics West Conference <2005, San Jose/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()
fiber laser and amplifier; fiber design; Ytterbium; nonlinear fiber optic; photonic crystal fiber; power scaling

In the last years a dramatic increase of the output power of rare-earth-doped fiber lasers and amplifiers with diffraction limited beam quality has been observed. These demonstrates impressively that fiber lasers and amplifiers are an attractive and power scalable solid-state laser concept. The main limiting factors for the laser output power are the damage of the fiber ends, heating of the fiber due to the quantum defect and nonlinear effects. To overcome these problems, an increasing of the core diameter and keeping the fiber single mode, by using solid core step-index large-mode-area fibers, allow the power scaling beyond 1 kW at diffraction limited beam quality. A further scaling is possible by using novel highly doped air-clad photonic crystal fibers with increased mode field diameters of the active core. This type of fibers has several new preferable features. In our contribution we will discuss the advantages of microstructured fibers to reduce nonlinear effects inside the fiber and the possibility to scale the output power of fiber lasers and amplifiers with excellent beam quality. We also show experiments with pulsed fiber amplifier systems using these microstructured large mode area fibers.