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Impact of thermo-optical effects in coherently combined multicore fiber amplifiers

: Steinkopff, A.; Jauregui, C.; Aleshire, C.; Klenke, A.; Limpert, J.

Fulltext ()

Optics Express 28 (2020), No.25, pp.38093-38105
ISSN: 1094-4087
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer IOF ()
electromagnetic pulse; ultrafast lasers; Ytterbium

In this work we analyze the power scaling potential of amplifying multicore fibers (MCFs) used in coherently combined systems. In particular, in this study we exemplarily consider rod-type MCFs with 2 × 2 up to 10 × 10 ytterbium-doped cores arranged in a squared pattern. We will show that, even though increasing the number of active cores will lead to higher output powers, particular attention has to be paid to arising thermal effects, which potentially degrade the performance of these systems. Additionally, we analyze the influence of the core dimensions on the extractable and combinable output power and pulse energy. This includes a detailed study on the thermal effects that influence the propagating transverse modes and, in turn, the amplification efficiency, the combining efficiency, the onset of nonlinear effect, as well as differences in the optical path lengths between the cores. Considering all these effects under rather extreme conditions, the study predicts that average output powers higher than 10 kW from a single 1m long ytterbium-doped MCF are feasible and femtosecond pulses with energies higher than 400 mJ can be extracted and efficiently recombined in a filled-aperture scheme.