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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 21, Iss. 4 — Feb. 25, 2013
  • pp: 4665–4670

Enhanced stability of nitrogen-sealed carbon nanotube saturable absorbers under high-intensity irradiation

Amos Martinez, Kazuyuki Fuse, and Shinji Yamashita  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 21, Issue 4, pp. 4665-4670 (2013)

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Due to their broadband saturable absorption and fast response, carbon nanotubes have proven to be an excellent material for the modelocking of fiber lasers and have become a promising device for the implementation of novel laser configurations. However, it is imperative to address the issue of their long-term reliability under intense optical pulses before they can be exploited in widespread commercial applications. In this work, we study how carbon nanotubes degrade due to oxidation when exposed to high-intensity continuous-wave light and we demonstrate that by sealing the carbon nanotubes in a nitrogen gas, the damage threshold can be increased by over one order of magnitude. We then monitor over 24 hours the performance of the carbon nanotube saturable absorbers as the passive modelocking device of an erbium-doped fiber laser with intracavity powers ranging from 5 mW to 316 mW. We observe that when the carbon nanotubes are sealed in nitrogen environment, oxidation can be efficiently prevented and the laser can operate without any deterioration at intracavity powers higher than 300 mW. However, in the case where carbon nanotubes are unprotected (i.e. those directly exposed to the air in the environment), the nanotubes start to deteriorate at intracavity powers lower than 50 mW.

© 2013 OSA

OCIS Codes
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: January 7, 2013
Revised Manuscript: February 8, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: February 8, 2013
Published: February 15, 2013

Amos Martinez, Kazuyuki Fuse, and Shinji Yamashita, "Enhanced stability of nitrogen-sealed carbon nanotube saturable absorbers under high-intensity irradiation," Opt. Express 21, 4665-4670 (2013)

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