We investigated an Er<sup>3+</sup>/Yb<sup>3+</sup> codoped silicate glass as a host material for waveguide lasers operating near 1.5 μm. Spectroscopic properties of the glass are reported. Waveguide lasers were fabricated by K<sup>+</sup>-ion exchange from a nitrate melt. The waveguides support a single transverse mode at 1.5 μm. An investigation of the laser performance as a function of the Yb:Er ratio was performed, indicating an optimal ratio of approximately 5:1. Slope efficiencies of as great as 6.5% and output powers as high as 19.6 mW at 1.54 μm were realized. The experimental results are compared with a waveguide laser model that is used to extract the Er<sup>3+</sup> upconversion coefficients and the Yb<sup>3+</sup>–Er<sup>3+</sup> cross-relaxation coefficients. The results indicate the possibility of obtaining high-performance waveguide lasers from a durable silicate host glass.
[Optical Society of America ]
(130.2790) Integrated optics : Guided waves
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(140.3500) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, erbium
(160.2750) Materials : Glass and other amorphous materials
(160.5690) Materials : Rare-earth-doped materials
Philip M. Peters, David S. Funk, Adele P. Peskin, David L. Veasey, Norman A. Sanford, Susan N. Houde-Walter, and Joseph S. Hayden, "Ion-exchanged waveguide lasers in Er3+/Yb3+ codoped silicate glass," Appl. Opt. 38, 6879-6886 (1999)