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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Vol. 16, Iss. 16 — Aug. 4, 2008
  • pp: 11830–11835
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Single-polarization, switchable dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with two polarization-maintaining fiber Bragg gratings

Suchun Feng, Ou Xu, Shaohua Lu, Xiangqiao Mao, Tigang Ning, and Shuisheng Jian  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 16, pp. 11830-11835 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.16.011830


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Abstract

An improved erbium-doped fiber laser configuration for achieving single-polarization, switchable dual-wavelength of orthogonal polarizations oscillations at room temperature is proposed. For the first time,two fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) directly written in a polarization-maintaining (PM) and photosensitive erbium-doped fiber (PMPEDF) as the wavelength-selective component are used in a linear laser cavity. Due to the polarization hole burning (PHB) enhanced by the polarization-maintaining FBG (PMFBG), the laser can be designed to operate in stable dual-wavelength or wavelength-switching modes with a wavelength spacing of 0.336nm at room temperature by adjusting a polarization controller (PC). Each lasing line shows a single polarization with a polarization extinction ratio of >25dB under different pump levels. The optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is greater than 50 dB. The amplitude variation with 16 times scans in nearly one and half an hour is less than 0.5dB at both operating wavelength.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

Multi-wavelength fiber lasers are useful in wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) optical communication systems, fiber sensors, and optical testing instruments. Fiber Bragg grating (FBG) is an ideal wavelength-selective component for fiber lasers due to various merits such as wavelength-selective nature, fiber compatibility, ease of use and low cost. Erbium-doped fiber is the primary homogeneous gain medium at room temperature, which leads to strong mode competition and unstable lasing, thus it is difficult to obtain simultaneous multi-wavelength oscillations in erbium-doped fiber lasers (EDFLs). Various techniques have been proposed to realize multi-wavelength oscillations by utilizing FBG with multiple phase shifts in a linear cavity [1

1. Y. Yao, X. Chen, Y. Dai, and S. Xie, “Dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with a simple linear cavity and its application in microwave generation,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 187–189 (2006). [CrossRef]

] and in a ring cavity [2

2. X. Chen, J. Yao, and Z. Deng, “Ultranarrow dual-transmission-band fiber Bragg grating filter and its application in a dual-wavelength single-longitudinal-mode fiber ring laser,” Opt. Lett. 30, 2068–2070 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], symmetrical FBG structure in a linear cavity [3

3. X. Liu, “A novel dual-wavelength DFB fiber laser based on symmetrical FBG structure,” IEEE Photon.Technol. Lett. 19, 632–634 (2007). [CrossRef]

],a sampled FBG in a ring cavity [4

4. Y. Liu, X. Dong, P. Shum, S. Yuan, G. Kai, and X. Dong, “Stable room-temperature multi-wavelength lasing realization in ordinary erbium-doped fiber loop lasers,” Opt. Express 14, 9293–9298 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], a multimode FBG in a linear cavity [5

5. X. Feng, Y. Liu, S. Fu, S. Yuan, and X. Dong, “Switchable dual-wavelength ytterbium-doped fiber laser based on a few-mode fiber grating,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 762–764 (2004). [CrossRef]

], and polarization-maintaining FBG (PMFBG) in a linear cavity [6

6. D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, “A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148–1150 (2007). [CrossRef]

] and in a ring cavity [7

7. Z. Liu, Y. Liu, J. Du, S. Yuan, and X. Dong “Switchable triple-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser using a single fiber Bragg grating in polarization-maintaining fiber,” Opt. Commun. 279, 168–172 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Multi-wavelength fiber lasers based on the PMFBG have been deeply studied and various configurations have been proposed [6-10

6. D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, “A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148–1150 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. However, the fibers which are used to form the laser cavity and the fibers with the PMFBG written in these configurations are of different types and needed to be spliced together [6-10

6. D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, “A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148–1150 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Thus the cavity loss is increased and the overall robustness of the laser is also diminished. Further more, the polarizations of the two lasing lines of the orthogonal linear polarization modes corresponding to the reflection peaks of the PMFBG can not be well maintained in the laser cavity; especially, when different fibers are utilized, this will induce the mode coupling by the splice joints.

2. System configuration and principle

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram of the proposed laser.

The configuration of the proposed laser is shown schematically in Fig. 1. The laser consists of a uniform PMFBG and a broadband polarization-maintaining linearly chirped fiber Bragg grating (PMCFBG) directly written in a PANDA polarization-maintaining and photosensitive erbium-doped fiber (PMPEDF) with the spatial spacing of 1.5-m (there are no splice joints in the whole laser cavity), a 980/1550 nm wavelength division multiplexer (WDM), a polarization controller (PC) and a PM optical isolator (PMISO). The 1.5-m PMPEDF has an absorption coefficient of 23dB/m at 1530nm and is pumped by a laser diode with a maximum output of 110mW at 980nm through the WDM. The beat length of the PMPEDF is about 4.98-mm at 1550nm which corresponds to a wavelength separation of about 0.336nm in the reflection spectra of PMFBG for the orthogonally polarized modes. The PC is used to adjust the birefringence within the cavity and to balance the gain and loss.

Fig. 2. The overlap reflection spectra (a) and transmission spectra (b) of the PMFBG and the PMCFBG under ambient-temperature conditions.

Since the whole laser cavity is all PM and there is no splicing point in the laser cavity, the polarizations of the light within the laser cavity are well maintained. Feedback from the PMFBG and PMCFBG in the laser cavity results in two linearly orthogonally polarized modes which are separated both in wavelength and polarization. Lasers operating on different linearly polarized modes greatly enhance the polarization hole-burning (PHB) in the cavity and reduce the homogeneous linewidth of the EDF [6-13

6. D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, “A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148–1150 (2007). [CrossRef]

]. Due to the PHB enhanced by the PMFBG, the laser can be designed to operate in stable dual-wavelength or wavelength-switching modes of single polarization with good polarization extinction ratio by adjusting the PC at room temperature.

3. Experimental results and discussion

The pump threshold of the laser is 23mW. Figure 3 shows the dual-wavelength operation of the laser with a pump power of 95mW. The two lasing wavelengths are 1554.576nm and 1554.912nm respectively corresponding to the two reflection peak wavelengths of the PMFBG. The optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) is measured to be greater than 50 dB, as shown in Fig. 3(a). The 3-dB bandwidth of each lasing line is 0.014nm, 20-dB bandwidth is 0.056nm and the 40-dB bandwidth is 0.160nm respectively. 16 times repeated scans at 5-min intervals in nearly one and half an hour is shown in Fig. 3(b). The amplitude variation of the two lasing wavelengths is less than 0.5dB and the output powers are about 1mW respectively. As can be seen from the Fig. 3(b), the stability of the dual-wavelength laser at room temperature is very good.

Fig. 3. Dual-wavelength operation of the laser at about 95mW pumped.

The single-wavelength operation can be obtained by adjusting the PC. Figure 4 shows the single-wavelength operation of the proposed laser with a pump power of 95mW. Figure 4(a) and Fig. 4(b) indicate the operation at 1554.576nm and 1554.912nm respectively. The 3-dB bandwidth of each lasing line is 0.014nm, 20-dB bandwidth is 0.054nm and the 40-dB bandwidth is 0.162nm respectively. 16 times repeated scans of each single-wavelength operation at 5-min intervals in nearly one and half an hour is shown in Fig. 5(a) and Fig. 5(b) respectively. The amplitude variation is measured to be less than 0.5 dB and the OSNR is greater than 52.5 dB in each single-wavelength operation. The output powers are about 1.7mW respectively.

In the experiment, the dual-wavelength and single-wavelength operation were very stable under pump variations and no significant drift in wavelength or amplitude variation was discovered under the invariant pump. As described in section II, this is because the PHB enhanced by the PMFBG reduced the homogeneous gain broadening of EDF and then reduced the wavelength competition. Adjusting the PC led to different laser outputs. This is because of the perturbation-induced birefringence, which was used to change the polarization states of different wavelength in the laser cavity. That also verified the principle of the wavelength-switching.Note that higher output power can be obtained by increasing the pump power or using a master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration [14

14. G. A. Ball, C. E. Holton, G. Hull-Allen, and W. W. Morey, “60mW 1.5 μm single-frequency low-noise fiber laser MOPA,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 6, 192–194 (1994). [CrossRef]

]. Higher efficiency and OSNR can be achieved by optimizing the length of PMPEDF and the reflectivity of the PMFBG and PMCFBG.

The polarization of the fiber laser output has been measured with a polarization multimeter.Each lasing line shows a single polarization with a polarization extinction ratio of >25dB under different pump levels. The two polarizations at the dual-wavelength are orthogonal to each other, as expected from the PMFBG.

Fig. 4. Single-wavelength operation of the laser at about 95mW pumped.
Fig. 5. Single-wavelength operation of the laser at about 95mW pumped with 16 times repeated scans in nearly one and half an hour.

Obviously, the laser is not single-longitudinal-mode laser. In fact, we have reduced the length of the laser cavity to about 3-cm (the mode-spacing depends on the length of the laser cavity) and tried to make it work at single-longitudinal-mode [15

15. Y. O. Barmenkov, D. Zalvidea, S. Torres-Peiró, J. L. Cruz, and M. V. Andrés, “Effective length of short Fabry-Perot cavity formed by uniform fiber Bragg gratings,” Opt. Express 14, 6394–6399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], but the laser didn’t work. It is mainly due to the low gain of the EDF (compared with the Er-Yb co-doped fiber) and the short laser cavity. But the single-longitudinal-mode lasing in each wavelength is still expected in our configuration through incorporating phase-shift fiber Bragg grating filter [2

2. X. Chen, J. Yao, and Z. Deng, “Ultranarrow dual-transmission-band fiber Bragg grating filter and its application in a dual-wavelength single-longitudinal-mode fiber ring laser,” Opt. Lett. 30, 2068–2070 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] or using the Er-Yb co-doped high gain PMPF [16

16. A. Schülzgen, L. Li, D. Nguyen, C. Spiegelberg, R. M. Rogojan, A. Laronche, J. Albert, and N. Peyghambarian, “Distributed feedback fiber laser pumped by multimode laser diodes,” Opt. Lett. 33, 614–616 (2008) [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Thus, it is possible to obtain the single-polarization, single-longitudinal-mode fiber laser with narrow linewidth. Such kind of fiber laser has potential application in the distributed long distance fiber-optic micro-strain location sensing system based on Mach-Zehnder interferometer [17

17. Q. Sun, D. Liu, J. Wang, and H. Liu, “Distributed fiber-optic vibration sensor using a ring Mach-Zehnder interferometer,” Opt. Commun. 281, 1538–1544 (2008). [CrossRef]

]. Further more, the dual-wavelength, single-longitudinal-mode fiber laser with ultra-narrow wavelength spacing and orthogonal polarizations has potential applications in microwave or millimeter-wave signal generation and modulation of data on the microwave sub-carrier [1

1. Y. Yao, X. Chen, Y. Dai, and S. Xie, “Dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with a simple linear cavity and its application in microwave generation,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 187–189 (2006). [CrossRef]

].

A change in the temperature of the laser will shift the two wavelengths simultaneously, but it will not affect the wavelength spacing and stability. Different lasing wavelengths can be obtained by tuning the temperature of the PMFBGs or changing the period of the custom gratings. And different wavelength spacing can be achieved by controlling the birefringence of the PMFBGs or using different PMPEDF.

4. Conclusion

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Optical Fiber Group of Institute of Lightwave Technology for supplying the PMPEDF with high quality and thank Dr. Yan Wei for helpful discussions about the PMFBG. Suchun Feng would like to thank Dr. Yuchun Lu for the help in the revision of this paper. This work is jointly supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program (“863” Program) of China under Grant No. 2007AA01Z258, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, Beijing Natural Science Foundation and the Beijing Jiaotong University Foundation.

References and links

1.

Y. Yao, X. Chen, Y. Dai, and S. Xie, “Dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with a simple linear cavity and its application in microwave generation,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 187–189 (2006). [CrossRef]

2.

X. Chen, J. Yao, and Z. Deng, “Ultranarrow dual-transmission-band fiber Bragg grating filter and its application in a dual-wavelength single-longitudinal-mode fiber ring laser,” Opt. Lett. 30, 2068–2070 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

X. Liu, “A novel dual-wavelength DFB fiber laser based on symmetrical FBG structure,” IEEE Photon.Technol. Lett. 19, 632–634 (2007). [CrossRef]

4.

Y. Liu, X. Dong, P. Shum, S. Yuan, G. Kai, and X. Dong, “Stable room-temperature multi-wavelength lasing realization in ordinary erbium-doped fiber loop lasers,” Opt. Express 14, 9293–9298 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

X. Feng, Y. Liu, S. Fu, S. Yuan, and X. Dong, “Switchable dual-wavelength ytterbium-doped fiber laser based on a few-mode fiber grating,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 762–764 (2004). [CrossRef]

6.

D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, “A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148–1150 (2007). [CrossRef]

7.

Z. Liu, Y. Liu, J. Du, S. Yuan, and X. Dong “Switchable triple-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser using a single fiber Bragg grating in polarization-maintaining fiber,” Opt. Commun. 279, 168–172 (2007). [CrossRef]

8.

Y. Liu, X. Feng, S. Yuan, G. Kai, and X. Dong, “Simultaneous four-wavelength lasing oscillations in an erbium-doped fiber laser with two high birefringence fiber Bragg gratings,” Opt. Express 12, 2056–2061(2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

9.

W. Guan and J. R. Marciante, “Dual-frequency operation in a short-cavity ytterbium-doped fiber laser,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 261–263 (2007). [CrossRef]

10.

L. Sun, X. Feng, W. Zhang, L. Xiong, Y. Liu, G. Kai, S. Yuan, and X. Dong, “Beating frequency tunable dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with one fiber Bragg grating,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1453–1455 (2004). [CrossRef]

11.

J. J. Zayhowski, “Limits imposed by spatial hole burning on the singlemode operation of standing-wave laser cavities,” Opt. Lett. 15, 431–433 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

J. Sun, J. Qiu, and D. Huang, “Multiwavelength erbium-doped fiber lasers exploiting polarization hole burning,” Opt. Commun. 182, 193–197 (2000). [CrossRef]

13.

J. Hernandez-Cordero, V. A. Kozlov, A. L. G. Carter, and T. F. Morse, “Fiber laser polarization tuning using a Bragg grating in a Hi-Bi fiber,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 941–943 (1998). [CrossRef]

14.

G. A. Ball, C. E. Holton, G. Hull-Allen, and W. W. Morey, “60mW 1.5 μm single-frequency low-noise fiber laser MOPA,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 6, 192–194 (1994). [CrossRef]

15.

Y. O. Barmenkov, D. Zalvidea, S. Torres-Peiró, J. L. Cruz, and M. V. Andrés, “Effective length of short Fabry-Perot cavity formed by uniform fiber Bragg gratings,” Opt. Express 14, 6394–6399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

A. Schülzgen, L. Li, D. Nguyen, C. Spiegelberg, R. M. Rogojan, A. Laronche, J. Albert, and N. Peyghambarian, “Distributed feedback fiber laser pumped by multimode laser diodes,” Opt. Lett. 33, 614–616 (2008) [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

Q. Sun, D. Liu, J. Wang, and H. Liu, “Distributed fiber-optic vibration sensor using a ring Mach-Zehnder interferometer,” Opt. Commun. 281, 1538–1544 (2008). [CrossRef]

OCIS Codes
(060.2320) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators
(060.2410) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, erbium
(060.2420) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, polarization-maintaining
(060.3738) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber Bragg gratings, photosensitivity
(060.3510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Lasers, fiber

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

History
Original Manuscript: May 7, 2008
Revised Manuscript: June 26, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: June 29, 2008
Published: July 23, 2008

Citation
Suchun Feng, Ou Xu, Shaohua Lu, Xiangqiao Mao, Tigang Ning, and Shuisheng Jian, "Single-polarization, switchable dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with two polarization-maintaining fiber Bragg gratings," Opt. Express 16, 11830-11835 (2008)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-16-16-11830


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References

  1. Y. Yao, X. Chen, Y. Dai, and S. Xie, "Dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with a simple linear cavity and its application in microwave generation," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 187-189 (2006). [CrossRef]
  2. X. Chen, J. Yao, and Z. Deng, "Ultranarrow dual-transmission-band fiber Bragg grating filter and its application in a dual-wavelength single-longitudinal-mode fiber ring laser," Opt. Lett. 30, 2068-2070 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. X. Liu, "A novel dual-wavelength DFB fiber laser based on symmetrical FBG structure," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 632-634 (2007). [CrossRef]
  4. Y. Liu, X. Dong, P. Shum, S. Yuan, G. Kai, and X. Dong, "Stable room-temperature multi-wavelength lasing realization in ordinary erbium-doped fiber loop lasers," Opt. Express 14, 9293-9298 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. X. Feng, Y. Liu, S. Fu, S. Yuan, and X. Dong, "Switchable dual-wavelength ytterbium-doped fiber laser based on a few-mode fiber grating," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 762-764 (2004). [CrossRef]
  6. D. Liu, N. Q. Ngo, S. C. Tjin, and X. Dong, "A dual-wavelength fiber laser sensor system for measurement of temperature and strain," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 1148-1150 (2007). [CrossRef]
  7. Z. Liu, Y. Liu, J. Du, S. Yuan, and X. Dong "Switchable triple-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser using a single fiber Bragg grating in polarization-maintaining fiber," Opt. Commun. 279, 168-172 (2007). [CrossRef]
  8. Y. Liu, X. Feng, S. Yuan, G. Kai, and X. Dong, "Simultaneous four-wavelength lasing oscillations in an erbium-doped fiber laser with two high birefringence fiber Bragg gratings," Opt. Express 12, 2056-2061 (2004). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. W. Guan and J. R. Marciante, "Dual-frequency operation in a short-cavity ytterbium-doped fiber laser," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 19, 261-263 (2007). [CrossRef]
  10. L. Sun, X. Feng, W. Zhang, L. Xiong, Y. Liu, G. Kai, S. Yuan, and X. Dong, "Beating frequency tunable dual-wavelength erbium-doped fiber laser with one fiber Bragg grating," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 16, 1453-1455 (2004). [CrossRef]
  11. J. J. Zayhowski, "Limits imposed by spatial hole burning on the singlemode operation of standing-wave laser cavities," Opt. Lett. 15, 431-433 (1990). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. J. Sun, J. Qiu, and D. Huang, "Multiwavelength erbium-doped fiber lasers exploiting polarization hole burning," Opt. Commun. 182, 193-197 (2000). [CrossRef]
  13. J. Hernandez-Cordero, V. A. Kozlov, A. L. G. Carter, and T. F. Morse, "Fiber laser polarization tuning using a Bragg grating in a Hi-Bi fiber," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 10, 941-943 (1998). [CrossRef]
  14. G. A. Ball, C. E. Holton, G. Hull-Allen, and W. W. Morey, "60mW 1.5 μm single-frequency low-noise fiber laser MOPA," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 6, 192-194 (1994). [CrossRef]
  15. Y. O. Barmenkov, D. Zalvidea, S. Torres-Peiró, J. L. Cruz, and M. V. Andrés, "Effective length of short Fabry-Perot cavity formed by uniform fiber Bragg gratings," Opt. Express 14, 6394-6399 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. A. Schülzgen, L. Li, D. Nguyen, C. Spiegelberg, R. M. Rogojan, A. Laronche, J. Albert, and N. Peyghambarian, "Distributed feedback fiber laser pumped by multimode laser diodes," Opt. Lett. 33, 614-616 (2008) [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. Q. Sun, D. Liu, J. Wang, and H. Liu, "Distributed fiber-optic vibration sensor using a ring Mach-Zehnder interferometer," Opt. Commun. 281, 1538-1544 (2008). [CrossRef]

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