SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 3 -- Cladding pumped-fiber lasers are producing the high powers required to replace traditional lasers in important application areas, said Johan Nilsson of Southampton Photonics, Inc.(SPI) and the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), University of Southampton, at a presentation last week at Photonics West 2003 in San Jose.
Nilsson said his findings enhance the rapid advances being made in optical fiber and pump technology.
In published experiments, Nilsson said, over 270 W of single-mode output power at 1080 nm from an ytterbium-doped fiber laser (YDFL), and over 100 W of single-mode output power at 1565 nm from an erbium-ytterbium fiber laser have been achieved. SPI said these are the highest powers ever produced using ytterbium and erbium-ytterbium single-mode fiber lasers. YDFLs are amongt the most efficient of all rare-earth doped fiber lasers, and erbium-ytterbium co-doped fiber lasers are the most efficient type of high-power laser of any kind operating in the "eye-safe" wavelength region at around 1550 nm, according to SPI.
With the appropriate fiber designs, SPI said it expects single-mode fiber lasers with 1 kW of output power to be realizable in the not too distant future. It also anticipates that the recent rapid improvements will continue and will spread to more refined fiber lasers with single-polarization, narrow-linewidths and pulsed sources.
SPI said record-beating results from a 980 nm laser using its patented ytterbium ring-doped cladding pumping technology will be presented at the Advanced Solid State Photonics Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in February.
For more information, visit: www.spioptics.com