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Spatially resolved measurement of the core temperature in a highpower thulium fiber system

: Walbaum, T.; Heinzig, M.; Beier, F.; Liem, A.; Schreiber, T.; Eberhardt, R.; Tünnermann, A.


Ballato, J. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Fiber Lasers XIII. Technology, Systems, and Applications. Proceedings : 3-18 February 2016, San Francisco, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2016 (Proceedings of SPIE 9728)
ISBN: 978-1-62841-963-4
Paper 97280P
Conference "Fiber Lasers - Technology, Systems, and Applications" <13, 2016, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IOF ()

We present measurements of the temperature increase inside the active fiber of a thulium fiber amplifier during high power operation. At a pump power of over 100 W at a wavelength of 793 nm, we measure the core temperature distribution along the first section of a large mode area (LMA) highly thulium doped active fiber by use of an optical backscatter reflectometer. A mode field adaptor is used to maintain single mode operation in the LMA fiber. An increase in temperature of over 100 K can be observed in spite of conductive cooling, located at the pumped fiber end and jeopardizing the fiber coating. The recoated splice can be clearly identified as the hottest fiber region. This allows us to estimate the maximum thermally acceptable pump power for this amplifier. We also observe that the temperature can be decreased by increasing the seed power, which is in agreement with theoretical predictions on the increase of cross relaxation efficiency by depletion of the upper laser level. This underlines the role of power scaling of the respective seed power of a thulium amplifier stage as a means of thermal management.