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SPI Claims Power Record for 980 nm Fiber Laser
Feb 2003
SAN ANTONIO, Texas, Feb. 20 -- Southampton Photonics Inc. (SPI) and the Optolectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton have reported 3.5 W of output power at 980 nm from a jacketed air-clad ytterbium-doped fiber laser. The report was made at Advanced Solid-State Photonics 2003 last week in San Antonio.

According to SPI, attempts to produce a single-mode 980 nm fiber laser have been stymied because the dopant of choice, ytterbium, stubbornly reabsorbs light generated at 980 nm and emits at around 1040 nm.

The company said it employed a threefold solution to the problem: First, a high-brightness pump module was used that can deliver 5 W of multimode power in a 35 µm beam; second, a fiber was fabricated with a 35 µm cladding suspended in air, which preserved the brightness of the 915 nm pump radiation and reduced the threshold for the 980 nm emission from 250 mW to 400 mW. Last, the fiber utilized SPI's ring-doping technology, which reduced the re-absorption of the 980 nm emission and reduced the gain from the unwanted 1040 nm radiation.

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