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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 15 — Jul. 16, 2012
  • pp: 16410–16420
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High power and high energy monolithic single frequency 2 μm nanosecond pulsed fiber laser by using large core Tm-doped germanate fibers: experiment and modeling

Qiang Fang, Wei Shi, Khanh Kieu, Eliot Petersen, Arturo Chavez-Pirson, and Nasser Peyghambarian  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 15, pp. 16410-16420 (2012)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.20.016410


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Abstract

We report a high power and high energy all-fiber-based single frequency nanosecond pulsed laser source at ~1918.4 nm in master oscillator-power amplifier (MOPA) configuration. The pre-shaped pulsed fiber laser seed with a variable pulse duration and repetition rate were achieved by directly modulating a continuous wave (CW) single frequency fiber laser using a fast electro-optical modulator (EOM) driven by a arbitrary waveform generator (AWG). One piece of single mode, large (30 μm) core, polarization-maintaining (PM) highly thulium-doped (Tm-doped) germanate glass fiber (LC-TGF) was used to boost the pulse power and pulse energy of these modulated pulses in the final power amplifier. To the best of our knowledge, the highest average power 16 W for single frequency transform-limited ~2.0 ns pulses at 500 kHz was achieved, and the highest peak power 78.1 kW was achieved at 100 kHz. Furthermore, mJ pulse energy was achieved for ~15 ns pulses at 1 kHz repetition rate. Theoretical modeling of the large-core highly Tm-doped germanate glass double-cladding fiber amplifier (LC-TG-DC-FA) is also present for 2 μm nanosecond pulse amplification. A good agreement between the theoretical and experimental results was achieved. The model was also utilized to investigate the dependence of the stored energy in the LC-TGF on the pump power, seed energy and repetition rate, which can be used to design and optimize the LC-TG-DC-FA to achieve higher pulse energy.

© 2012 OSA

1. Introduction

Single frequency fiber lasers have been receiving intense interests due to their diverse applications in interferometric sensing, coherent LIDAR, spectroscopy and nonlinear conversion. Such kinds of fiber lasers at 1 μm, 1.55 μm and 2 μm have been developed and commercialized with a very short laser cavity in combination with narrowband fiber Bragg gratings and high unit gain active fibers for robust single-frequency operation [13

3. J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, A. Chavez-Pirson, N. Peyghambarian, and J. Yu, “Single frequency fiber laser at 2.05 µm based on Ho-doped germanate glass fiber,” Proc. SPIE 7195, 71951K, 71951K-7 (2009). [CrossRef]

]. Some applications, such as nonlinear frequency conversion, benefit from pulsed single-frequency lasers, which are able to provide high peak powers. To achieve this, Q-switched single-frequency fiber lasers were reported [4

4. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, J. Wang, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “Compact, single-frequency all-fiber Q-switched laser at 1 microm,” Opt. Lett. 32(8), 897–899 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 5

5. W. Shi, M. Leigh, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Single-frequency terahertz source pumped by Q-switched fiber lasers based on difference-frequency generation in GaSe crystal,” Opt. Lett. 32(8), 949–951 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Another way to get single-frequency laser pulses is to use an electro-optic or acousto-optic modulator (EOM or AOM) to directly modulate a continuous wave (CW) single-frequency laser. This allows the pulse parameters (duration, repetition rate, pulse shape, etc.) to be freely adjusted [6

6. K. T. Vu, A. Malinowski, D. J. Richardson, F. Ghiringhelli, L. M. Hickey, and M. N. Zervas, “Adaptive pulse shape control in a diode-seeded nanosecond fiber MOPA system,” Opt. Express 14(23), 10996–11001 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 7

7. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, Z. Yao, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “High peak power single frequency pulses using a short polarization maintaining phosphate glass fiber with a large core,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(18), 181108 (2008). [CrossRef]

].

Single-frequency fiber oscillators usually can only provide limited power or pulse energy. In the high power or high pulse energy regime, a single-frequency fiber laser source is typically configured as a high-gain master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) seeded by a low power laser for both CW regime [8

8. A. Liem, J. Limpert, H. Zellmer, and A. Tünnermann, “100-W single-frequency master-oscillator fiber power amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 28(17), 1537–1539 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12

12. L. Pearson, J. W. Kim, Z. Zhang, M. Ibsen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “High-power linearly-polarized single-frequency thulium-doped fiber master-oscillator power-amplifier,” Opt. Express 18(2), 1607–1612 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] or pulsed regime [7

7. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, Z. Yao, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “High peak power single frequency pulses using a short polarization maintaining phosphate glass fiber with a large core,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(18), 181108 (2008). [CrossRef]

, 13

13. C. D. Brooks and F. Di Teodoro, “1-mJ energy, 1-MW peak-power, 10-W average-power, spectrally narrow, diffraction-limited pulses from a photonic-crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Express 13(22), 8999–9002 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15

15. W. Shi, E. B. Petersen, D. T. Nguyen, Z. Yao, A. Chavez-Pirson, N. Peyghambarian, and J. Yu, “220 μJ monolithic single-frequency Q-switched fiber laser at 2 μm by using highly Tm-doped germanate fibers,” Opt. Lett. 36(18), 3575–3577 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Power and energy scaling for these lasers is more challenging due to their narrow bandwidth, which leads to lower threshold of Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS). So, usually a large-core gain fiber is used in the final power amplifier to mitigate the SBS [7

7. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, Z. Yao, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “High peak power single frequency pulses using a short polarization maintaining phosphate glass fiber with a large core,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 92(18), 181108 (2008). [CrossRef]

]. G. D. Goodno et al. reports a 608 W CW single frequency fiber laser source at 2040 nm, which is the highest reported average power achieved from any single-frequency, single-mode fiber laser [11

11. G. D. Goodno, L. D. Book, and J. E. Rothenberg, “Low-phase-noise, single-frequency, single-mode 608 W thulium fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 34(8), 1204–1206 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. C. D. Brook etl. reported a single frequency pulse laser at 1062 nm with >1 mJ pulse energy and > 1 MW peak power [13

13. C. D. Brooks and F. Di Teodoro, “1-mJ energy, 1-MW peak-power, 10-W average-power, spectrally narrow, diffraction-limited pulses from a photonic-crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Express 13(22), 8999–9002 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. However, these systems contain a lot of bulk components, which to some extent sacrifices the benefits of fiber laser sources.

The transition (3F4-> 3H6) of trivalent thulium provides radiation near 2 μm, which is eye-safe and has wide applications including remote sensing, LIDAR, military and medical applications. It also provides higher conversion efficiency to be used in nonlinear frequency generation for mid-IR and THz sources [16

16. A. Dergachev, D. Armstrong, A. Smith, T. Drake, and M. Dubois, “3.4-mum ZGP RISTRA nanosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2.05-mum Ho:YLF MOPA system,” Opt. Express 15(22), 14404–14413 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 17

17. W. Shi, E. Petersen, Q. Fang, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Efficient parametric THz generation pumped by monolithic pulsed fiber lasers at ~2 μm in MOPA configuration,” SPIE Photonic West, (2012).

]. Besides, thulium (TM)-doped fibers are promising medium for building high power fiber laser sources due to the availability of commercial efficient high power 790 nm diode pumps and the 200% theoretical quantum efficiency because of the energy cross-relaxation process (two Tm ions can be excited by one pump ion) [18

18. S. D. Jackson, “Cross relaxation and energy transfer upconversion process relevant to the function of 2 μm Tm3+-doped silica fiber lasers,” Opt. Commun. 230(1-3), 197–203 (2004). [CrossRef]

]. Some thulium-doped fiber lasers/amplifiers with up to 68% slope efficiency have been demonstrated due to this high quantum efficiency although the quantum defect is big [19

19. J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Highly efficient high-power thulium-doped germanate glass fiber laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(6), 638–640 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 20

20. Q. Wang, J. Geng, T. Luo, and S. Jiang, “Mode-locked 2 mum laser with highly thulium-doped silicate fiber,” Opt. Lett. 34(23), 3616–3618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] (quantum defect is ~58.3% in ref [19

19. J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Highly efficient high-power thulium-doped germanate glass fiber laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(6), 638–640 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

].). In order to induce the energy cross-relaxation process, the host material should be chosen to have high solubility of the thulium ions. Heavy metal oxide glasses including germanate glass and fluoride glass, usually have high solubility for thulium ions. Silicate glass can also be heavily doped by thulium ions [20

20. Q. Wang, J. Geng, T. Luo, and S. Jiang, “Mode-locked 2 mum laser with highly thulium-doped silicate fiber,” Opt. Lett. 34(23), 3616–3618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In contrast, silica glass has lower thulium solubility and cannot be highly thulium doped. Another concern for choosing host materials is the phonon energy. Higher phonon energy leads to faster multi-phonon relaxation and thus results in lower cross-relaxation rate. Furthermore, the rate of non-radiative decay is higher for materials with higher phonon energy [21

21. B. M. Walsh and N. P. Barnes, “Comparison of Tm-doped ZBLAN and Silicate Fiber Lasers Operating Near 2.0 Micrometers,” in Advanced Solid-State Photonics, San Antonio, Texas, (2003).

]. silica and silicate have high phonon energy that can extend to 1100 cm−1 [21

21. B. M. Walsh and N. P. Barnes, “Comparison of Tm-doped ZBLAN and Silicate Fiber Lasers Operating Near 2.0 Micrometers,” in Advanced Solid-State Photonics, San Antonio, Texas, (2003).

]. Fluoride glass has very low phonon energy (around 500 cm−1). But the low mechanical strength and low damage threshold limit its application in high power or energy fiber laser systems. However, the germanate glass has lower phonon energy (900 cm−1) and it also has better mechanical strength and higher damage threshold than that of the fluoride glass. In this paper, we report a 2 μm all-fiber based single frequency nanosecond pulsed laser system by using a newly developed large core (30 μm) highly thulium doped germanate fiber. Over 16 W average power and nearly 1 mJ pulse energy were achieved for ~2.0 ns pulses at 500 kHz and ~15 ns pulses at 1 kHz repetition rate, respectively. To our best knowledge, this is the highest average power and pulse energy for such kind of all fiber single frequency nanosecond pulsed laser source in the 2 μm regime. All fiber-based construction of this pulsed fiber laser system in MOPA configuration enables robust, maintenance-free and high performance operation. A theoretical model was developed to simulate the performance of the LC-TG-DC-FA. The calculated pulse average power and pulse energy have good agreement with the measured data. The model was also utilized to calculate the dependence of the stored energy in the LC-TGF on the pump power, seed energy and the repetition rate, providing guidance to extract higher pulse energy given a piece of active fiber.

2. Pulse pre-shaping and single frequency nanosecond pulse seed at 2 μm

Figure 1
Fig. 1 Diagram of single frequency nanosecond pulse generation system.
shows the diagram of our single frequency nanosecond pulse generation system, which consists of an electro-optic modulator (EOM) to directly modulate the CW fiber laser, a Tm-doped pre-amplifier to boost the power of these pulses, an acousto-optic modulator (AOM) (time synchronized to the EOM) to remove the in-band amplified stimulated emission (ASE) and increase the extinction ratio, another Tm-doped preamplifier to further boost the power of these pulses, and a narrow band-pass filter (combining a PM circulator and a fiber Bragg grating) for removing out-of-band ASE generated by the amplifier. A CW single-frequency seed laser was used, which provides ~50 mW linearly polarized laser output at ~1918.4 nm [22

22. Q. Fang, W. Shi, E. Petersen, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Half-mJ all fiber based single frequency nanosecond pulsed fiber laser at 2 μm,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 24(5), 353–355 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. So the generated nanosecond pulses have very low average power. For example, the average power of ~2 ns pulses at 100 kHz repetition rate is only ~10 μW.

In the fiber amplifier for ns pulses, gain depletion over the time scale of the pulse always distorts the pulse shape [23

23. D. N. Schimpf, C. Ruchert, D. Nodop, J. Limpert, A. Tünnermann, and F. Salin, “Compensation of pulse-distortion in saturated laser amplifiers,” Opt. Express 16(22), 17637–17646 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Figure 2(a)
Fig. 2 Initial and amplified pulses (after the filter) for (a) rectangular pulse, (b) shaped pulse.
shows this pulse distortion with an initial rectangular pulse after the EOM and its amplified version (after the filter shown in Fig. 1). To mitigate this, an arbitrary waveform generator (AWG) was used to drive the EOM to pre-shape the pulses and make its leading edge gently sloped to limit its gain or steepening (see Fig. 2(b)). In addition, the pulse duration and repetition rate can be freely adjusted in our system. Figure 3
Fig. 3 Output pulses of pulse generation system shown in Fig. 1 with different pulse duration.
demonstrates several pulses with different pulse duration at the output of the nanosecond pulse system. These pulses keep good pulse shape and have large signal to noise ratio (>40 dB) in spectral domain, which makes them suitable seed sources for power and energy scaling.

3. Large-core highly Tm-doped germanate double-cladding fiber amplifier (LC-TG-DC-FA): power scaling

In order to boost the power of the generated nanosecond pulses, an all-fiber chain of two stage double-cladding (DC) fiber amplifiers were used as shown in Fig. 4
Fig. 4 Diagram of the two stage power amplifier. The inset is the gain fiber placed in a v-groove in a copper plate and its cross-section. SM: single mode; TDF: thulium doped fiber; LDs: laser diodes.
. Two meters Tm-doped DC-fiber with 10 μm core (from Nufern Inc.) was utilized in the first stage. This was followed by a large core highly Tm-doped germanate fiber (LC-TGF) for the final power amplifier stage. It was designed and drawn in-house based on the rod-in-tube technique. Germanate glasses have higher rare-earth ion solubility, thus highly doped germinate fibers enable shorter laser amplifier length with higher SRS and SBS threshold [24

24. G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Third Edition (Academic, 2001).

]. The new developed fiber has core and cladding sizes of 30 μm and 300 μm, which has a weight Tm-doping concentration of 4%. The fiber contains two stress rods to produce a birefringence that maintains the polarization of the amplified fiber laser pulses (see the cross-section of the fiber in Fig. 4). One commercial PM (6 + 1) × 1 signal pump combiner was used to combine the 2 μm laser signal and the ~793 nm multimode pump. The end of the output fiber of the combiner was stripped and then was fusion spliced to one end of the ~41 cm LC-TGF based on an asymmetric fusion splicing technique. The fusion splice joint and the whole LC-TGF were fixed in a v-groove in a copper plate (see Fig. 4) under fans for air cooling. A low index polymer was coated around the stripped fiber near fusion splice joint to confine the pump power in the inner cladding.

In order to get the high power and high peak power at the same time, we choose to amplify ~2ns fiber laser pulses at high repetition rate (100 kHz to 500 kHz). This high repetition rate enables enough power (9.2 mW @ 100 kHz, 19.3 mW @ 300 kHz, 25.7 mW @ 500 kHz), output from the pulse generation system (shown in Fig. 1), to seed the first DC-amplifier. After the first DC-amplifier, the power was amplified to ~350 mW, ~420 mW, ~450 mW for 100 kHz, 300 kHz, 500 kHz repetition rate, respectively and no nonlinearities were observed from their spectrum.

4. Large-core highly Tm-doped germanate double-cladding fiber amplifier (LC-TG-DC-FA): Modeling and Energy Scaling

Here we also present a numerical model for the LC-TG-DC-FA. Figure 6
Fig. 6 Energy levels and transitions taken into account in the presented model for Tm3+ in germanate glass.
shows the energy level diagram of Tm3+ in germanate glass [25

25. J. Wu, “Thulium doped microsphere laser and fiber laser,” Dissertation, University of Arizona, (2005).

]. The H36H34 transition corresponds to the 793-nm pump band and the F34H36transition corresponds to the signal band near 2 μm. The well-known H34F34 cross-relaxation effect [16

16. A. Dergachev, D. Armstrong, A. Smith, T. Drake, and M. Dubois, “3.4-mum ZGP RISTRA nanosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2.05-mum Ho:YLF MOPA system,” Opt. Express 15(22), 14404–14413 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] and the inverse cross-relaxation effect were taken into account in the presented model. Equations (16) are a set of rate equations and propagation equations for laser signal, ASE and pump [26

26. A. E. Siegman, Lasers, First Edition (Academic, 1986).

].

N3t=W03N01τ31N3K3011N3N0+K1130N12
(1)
N1t=W01N0W10N11τ10N1+1τ31N3+2K3011N3N02K1130N12
(2)
N0t=W03N0W01N0+W10N1+1τ10N1K3011N3N0+K1130N12
(3)
(1Vst+z)Ps(z,t)={Γs[σ10(νs)N1(z,t)σ01(νs)N0(z,t)]αlosssignal}Ps(z,t)
(4)
(1VASEt+z)PASE(+,)(νi,z,t)={Γs[σ10(νi)N1(z,t)σ01(νi)N0(z,t)]αlosssignal}PASE(+,)(νi,z,t)+Γsσ10(νi)N1(z,t)P0
(5)
(1Vpt+z)Pp(z,t)=[Γpσ03(νp)N0(z,t)αlosspump]Pp(z,t)
(6)

Here, Njis the population of the jth level in the energy diagram shown in Fig. 6. τ31and τ10are the lifetime of the thulium ions. K3011 and K1130 are cross relaxation rate and inverse cross relaxation rate, respectively. Γs is the overlap factor of the single-mode signal field and is assumed to be the same for all signal ASEs. Γp is the overlap factor of the multi-mode pump field. Vs, Vpand VASE are group velocity of laser signal, pump and ASE. σ01 and σ10are the absorption and emission cross sections of thulium ions from the first H36level to the second F34level (see Fig. 6). σ03is the absorption cross section of thulium ions from the first H36level to the fourth H34level (see Fig. 6). These spectroscopic parameters (cross sections, life time, etc.) of the thulium ions in germanate glass are obtained from ref [25

25. J. Wu, “Thulium doped microsphere laser and fiber laser,” Dissertation, University of Arizona, (2005).

]. αlosssignalis the propagation loss of the laser signal in the Tm-doped germanate fiber and was measured to be ~5 dB/m. αlosspumpis the pump propagation loss in the fiber and was estimated to be ~5 dB/m. The propagation loss of the ASE (1600nm to 2000 nm) is assumed to be same with that of the laser signal. P0(λ)=2hc2/λ3indicates the contribution of the spontaneous emission into the mode. W01, W10 and W03 are light-induced transition rates for laser signal and pump and can be given in Eqs. (79) [26

26. A. E. Siegman, Lasers, First Edition (Academic, 1986).

],

W01=Γs{σ01(νs)Ps(z,t)hνsA+iσ01(νi)[PASE(+)(νi,z,t)+PASE()(νi,z,t)]hνiA}
(7)
W10=Γs{σ10(νs)Ps(z,t)hνsA+iσ10(νi)[PASE(+)(νi,z,t)+PASE()(νi,z,t)]hνiA}
(8)
W03=Γpσ03(νp)Pp(z,t)hνpA
(9)

One program was developed based on these equations mainly using 4th order Runge-Kutta method. It should be noted that pulses with Gaussian shape were utilized in this model. In order to verify the program, the average power of the pulses at 500 kHz repetition rate was calculated and compared with the measured data as shown in Fig. 7(a)
Fig. 7 (a) Simulated and measured average power of ~2 ns pulses at 500 kHz repetition rate under different launched pump power. The error bars denote the power fluctuation. (b). Simulated and measured pulse energy of ~15ns pulses at 5 kHz repetition rate under different pump power. The error bars denote the pulse energy fluctuation.
. We can find that the calculated data and the measured data matched very well. The measured and the calculated data also matched very well for pulses both at 100 kHz repetition rate and 300 kHz repetition rate. From the error bars of the experimental data, one can see that the power fluctuation is below 3%.

Using this model, we also calculated the pulse energy for ~15 ns pulse at 5 kHz repetition rate and compared them with the reported experimental data in ref [22

22. Q. Fang, W. Shi, E. Petersen, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Half-mJ all fiber based single frequency nanosecond pulsed fiber laser at 2 μm,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 24(5), 353–355 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. as shown in Fig. 7(b). From the error bars of the experimental data, one can see that the pulse energy fluctuation is below 3%. The important thing is that this model can be utilized to effectively and accurately evaluate and estimate the performance of the LC-TG-DC-FA.

Using this model, we investigate how to extract more pulse energy from a piece of active fiber. We calculate the stored pulse energy in the thulium-doped germanate fiber defined by Eq. (10),
Es(t)=hνsA0LN1(z,t)dz
(10)
where υsis the frequency of the laser signal, A is the core area and L is the length of the active fiber.

Figure 8(a), (b)
Fig. 8 The calculated stored energy in the active fiber for seed pulses at different repetition rate under (a) 20 W and (b) 35 W pump when the seed energy is fixed at 20 μJ.
demonstrates the stored pulse energy in a ~41 cm LC-TGF with a 30 μm-diameter core at different repetition rate under 20 W and 35 W pump, respectively. Note that the seed pulse was ~15 ns Gaussian pulse with 20 μJ pulse energy. Figure 9
Fig. 9 The calculated stored pulse energy in the active fiber for different seed energy when the pump and repetition rate are fixed at 20 W and 5 KHz, respectively.
shows the dependence of stored energy on the seed energy. The pump and repetition rate are fixed at 20 W and 5 KHz, respectively. When the pump was launched into the active fiber, the electrons in the ground state will be excited into the upper laser energy level and thus the energy will be stored there. When a pulse propagates through the active fiber, the stored energy was extracted by the pulse and thus drops to its minimum, then starts to grow almost linearly with the time and the slope is dependent on the pump power and almost independent of repetition rate. The sharp energy drop, shown in Fig. 8, is the extracted pulse energy. We investigate the dependence of the stored energy on the repetition rate, pump power and seed energy. Specifically, when pump power and seed energy are fixed, lower repetition rate leads to more stored energy and more extracted energy; when repetition rate and seed energy are fixed, higher pump power enables more stored energy and more extracted energy; when repetition rate and pump power are fixed, higher seed energy leads to less stored energy but more extracted energy. It should be noted that, when the repetition rate was lowered to certain value under high pump level, some stored energy will be lost to the induced ASE (the rolling over of the stored energy shown in Fig. 8(b) for 1 kHz cases). Compared with 5 kHz and 10 kHz cases, much more energy could be extracted from the active fiber for 1 KHz case as shown in Fig. 8. So in the experiment, we set repetition rate at 1 kHz and boost the pulse energy. Nearly 1 mJ pulse energy was experimentally achieved as shown in Fig. 10
Fig. 10 Measured pulse energy of ~15ns pulses at 1 kHz repetition rate under different pump level.
. From Fig. 8(b), about ~2.5 mJ pulse energy can be theoretically extracted when the pump is ~35 W. There is a difference between the measured (1 mJ) and the calculated (2.5 mJ) energy. One reason is that a lot of ASE was induced in the process of amplifying 1 kHz repetition pulses, but the affect of ASE on the energy scaling has not been accurately handled in the current model. Another reason is that gaussian pulse shape is assumed in the model but the pulse distortion is heavier for low repetition rate pulse amplification. In the future, we will try to utilize pulsed pump for the low repetition rate (< 1 KHz) pulses amplification to suppress the ASE and to extract higher pulse energy.

5. Conclusion

In conclusion, we have successfully implemented a monolithic pulsed fiber laser system based on MOPA configuration which can produce over 16 W average power and 73.1 kW peak power single frequency transform-limited ~2 ns pulses in 2 μm regime. The laser system can also work in high energy regime to produce nearly 1 mJ ~15 ns pulses at 1 kHz repetition rate. One numerical model was built to model the LC-TG-DC-FA and a good agreement between experiment and numerical results was reached. Using this model, we also investigated the dependence of stored energy and extracted energy on pump level, seed energy and repetition rate, which provides references to design and optimize the LC-TG-DC-FA to achieve higher pulse energy given a piece of active fiber. The reported high power, high energy transform-limited pulses can be used for coherent LIDAR, laser remote sensing and nonlinear laser frequency conversion, such as parametric THz generation [17

17. W. Shi, E. Petersen, Q. Fang, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Efficient parametric THz generation pumped by monolithic pulsed fiber lasers at ~2 μm in MOPA configuration,” SPIE Photonic West, (2012).

].

Acknowledgments

This work was supported by US Air Force STTR Phase II project (FA9550-10-C-0105) and NSF ERC Center for Integrated Access Networks, CIAN.

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3.

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4.

M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, J. Wang, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “Compact, single-frequency all-fiber Q-switched laser at 1 microm,” Opt. Lett. 32(8), 897–899 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

5.

W. Shi, M. Leigh, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Single-frequency terahertz source pumped by Q-switched fiber lasers based on difference-frequency generation in GaSe crystal,” Opt. Lett. 32(8), 949–951 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

6.

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7.

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8.

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Y. Jeong, J. Nilsson, J. K. Sahu, D. N. Payne, R. Horley, L. M. B. Hickey, and P. W. Turner, “Power scaling of single-frequency ytterbium-doped fiber master-oscillator power-amplifier sources up to 500 W,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 13(3), 546–551 (2007). [CrossRef]

11.

G. D. Goodno, L. D. Book, and J. E. Rothenberg, “Low-phase-noise, single-frequency, single-mode 608 W thulium fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett. 34(8), 1204–1206 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

12.

L. Pearson, J. W. Kim, Z. Zhang, M. Ibsen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “High-power linearly-polarized single-frequency thulium-doped fiber master-oscillator power-amplifier,” Opt. Express 18(2), 1607–1612 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

13.

C. D. Brooks and F. Di Teodoro, “1-mJ energy, 1-MW peak-power, 10-W average-power, spectrally narrow, diffraction-limited pulses from a photonic-crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Express 13(22), 8999–9002 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

14.

W. Shi, E. B. Petersen, Z. Yao, D. T. Nguyen, J. Zong, M. A. Stephen, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Kilowatt-level stimulated-Brillouin-scattering-threshold monolithic transform-limited 100 ns pulsed fiber laser at 1530 nm,” Opt. Lett. 35(14), 2418–2420 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

15.

W. Shi, E. B. Petersen, D. T. Nguyen, Z. Yao, A. Chavez-Pirson, N. Peyghambarian, and J. Yu, “220 μJ monolithic single-frequency Q-switched fiber laser at 2 μm by using highly Tm-doped germanate fibers,” Opt. Lett. 36(18), 3575–3577 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

16.

A. Dergachev, D. Armstrong, A. Smith, T. Drake, and M. Dubois, “3.4-mum ZGP RISTRA nanosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2.05-mum Ho:YLF MOPA system,” Opt. Express 15(22), 14404–14413 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

17.

W. Shi, E. Petersen, Q. Fang, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Efficient parametric THz generation pumped by monolithic pulsed fiber lasers at ~2 μm in MOPA configuration,” SPIE Photonic West, (2012).

18.

S. D. Jackson, “Cross relaxation and energy transfer upconversion process relevant to the function of 2 μm Tm3+-doped silica fiber lasers,” Opt. Commun. 230(1-3), 197–203 (2004). [CrossRef]

19.

J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Highly efficient high-power thulium-doped germanate glass fiber laser,” Opt. Lett. 32(6), 638–640 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

20.

Q. Wang, J. Geng, T. Luo, and S. Jiang, “Mode-locked 2 mum laser with highly thulium-doped silicate fiber,” Opt. Lett. 34(23), 3616–3618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

21.

B. M. Walsh and N. P. Barnes, “Comparison of Tm-doped ZBLAN and Silicate Fiber Lasers Operating Near 2.0 Micrometers,” in Advanced Solid-State Photonics, San Antonio, Texas, (2003).

22.

Q. Fang, W. Shi, E. Petersen, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Half-mJ all fiber based single frequency nanosecond pulsed fiber laser at 2 μm,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 24(5), 353–355 (2012). [CrossRef]

23.

D. N. Schimpf, C. Ruchert, D. Nodop, J. Limpert, A. Tünnermann, and F. Salin, “Compensation of pulse-distortion in saturated laser amplifiers,” Opt. Express 16(22), 17637–17646 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

24.

G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Third Edition (Academic, 2001).

25.

J. Wu, “Thulium doped microsphere laser and fiber laser,” Dissertation, University of Arizona, (2005).

26.

A. E. Siegman, Lasers, First Edition (Academic, 1986).

OCIS Codes
(060.2320) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics amplifiers and oscillators
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.3510) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, fiber
(140.3538) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, pulsed

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: March 29, 2012
Revised Manuscript: May 9, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: May 17, 2012
Published: July 5, 2012

Citation
Qiang Fang, Wei Shi, Khanh Kieu, Eliot Petersen, Arturo Chavez-Pirson, and Nasser Peyghambarian, "High power and high energy monolithic single frequency 2 μm nanosecond pulsed fiber laser by using large core Tm-doped germanate fibers: experiment and modeling," Opt. Express 20, 16410-16420 (2012)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-20-15-16410


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References

  1. http://npphotonics.com/includes/main.php?pid=49 .
  2. J. Geng, J. Wu, S. Jiang, and J. Yu, “Efficient operation of diode-pumped single-frequency thulium-doped fiber lasers near 2 microm,” Opt. Lett.32(4), 355–357 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, A. Chavez-Pirson, N. Peyghambarian, and J. Yu, “Single frequency fiber laser at 2.05 µm based on Ho-doped germanate glass fiber,” Proc. SPIE7195, 71951K, 71951K-7 (2009). [CrossRef]
  4. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, J. Wang, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “Compact, single-frequency all-fiber Q-switched laser at 1 microm,” Opt. Lett.32(8), 897–899 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. W. Shi, M. Leigh, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Single-frequency terahertz source pumped by Q-switched fiber lasers based on difference-frequency generation in GaSe crystal,” Opt. Lett.32(8), 949–951 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. K. T. Vu, A. Malinowski, D. J. Richardson, F. Ghiringhelli, L. M. Hickey, and M. N. Zervas, “Adaptive pulse shape control in a diode-seeded nanosecond fiber MOPA system,” Opt. Express14(23), 10996–11001 (2006). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M. Leigh, W. Shi, J. Zong, Z. Yao, S. Jiang, and N. Peyghambarian, “High peak power single frequency pulses using a short polarization maintaining phosphate glass fiber with a large core,” Appl. Phys. Lett.92(18), 181108 (2008). [CrossRef]
  8. A. Liem, J. Limpert, H. Zellmer, and A. Tünnermann, “100-W single-frequency master-oscillator fiber power amplifier,” Opt. Lett.28(17), 1537–1539 (2003). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. Y. Jeong, J. Nilsson, J. K. Sahu, D. B. S. Soh, C. Alegria, P. Dupriez, C. A. Codemard, D. N. Payne, R. Horley, L. M. B. Hickey, L. Wanzcyk, C. E. Chryssou, J. A. Alvarez-Chavez, and P. W. Turner, “Single-frequency, single-mode, plane-polarized ytterbium-doped fiber master oscillator power amplifier source with 264 W of output power,” Opt. Lett.30(5), 459–461 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. Y. Jeong, J. Nilsson, J. K. Sahu, D. N. Payne, R. Horley, L. M. B. Hickey, and P. W. Turner, “Power scaling of single-frequency ytterbium-doped fiber master-oscillator power-amplifier sources up to 500 W,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.13(3), 546–551 (2007). [CrossRef]
  11. G. D. Goodno, L. D. Book, and J. E. Rothenberg, “Low-phase-noise, single-frequency, single-mode 608 W thulium fiber amplifier,” Opt. Lett.34(8), 1204–1206 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. L. Pearson, J. W. Kim, Z. Zhang, M. Ibsen, J. K. Sahu, and W. A. Clarkson, “High-power linearly-polarized single-frequency thulium-doped fiber master-oscillator power-amplifier,” Opt. Express18(2), 1607–1612 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. C. D. Brooks and F. Di Teodoro, “1-mJ energy, 1-MW peak-power, 10-W average-power, spectrally narrow, diffraction-limited pulses from a photonic-crystal fiber amplifier,” Opt. Express13(22), 8999–9002 (2005). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. W. Shi, E. B. Petersen, Z. Yao, D. T. Nguyen, J. Zong, M. A. Stephen, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Kilowatt-level stimulated-Brillouin-scattering-threshold monolithic transform-limited 100 ns pulsed fiber laser at 1530 nm,” Opt. Lett.35(14), 2418–2420 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. W. Shi, E. B. Petersen, D. T. Nguyen, Z. Yao, A. Chavez-Pirson, N. Peyghambarian, and J. Yu, “220 μJ monolithic single-frequency Q-switched fiber laser at 2 μm by using highly Tm-doped germanate fibers,” Opt. Lett.36(18), 3575–3577 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. A. Dergachev, D. Armstrong, A. Smith, T. Drake, and M. Dubois, “3.4-mum ZGP RISTRA nanosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 2.05-mum Ho:YLF MOPA system,” Opt. Express15(22), 14404–14413 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. W. Shi, E. Petersen, Q. Fang, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Efficient parametric THz generation pumped by monolithic pulsed fiber lasers at ~2 μm in MOPA configuration,” SPIE Photonic West, (2012).
  18. S. D. Jackson, “Cross relaxation and energy transfer upconversion process relevant to the function of 2 μm Tm3+-doped silica fiber lasers,” Opt. Commun.230(1-3), 197–203 (2004). [CrossRef]
  19. J. Wu, Z. Yao, J. Zong, and S. Jiang, “Highly efficient high-power thulium-doped germanate glass fiber laser,” Opt. Lett.32(6), 638–640 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. Q. Wang, J. Geng, T. Luo, and S. Jiang, “Mode-locked 2 mum laser with highly thulium-doped silicate fiber,” Opt. Lett.34(23), 3616–3618 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. B. M. Walsh and N. P. Barnes, “Comparison of Tm-doped ZBLAN and Silicate Fiber Lasers Operating Near 2.0 Micrometers,” in Advanced Solid-State Photonics, San Antonio, Texas, (2003).
  22. Q. Fang, W. Shi, E. Petersen, K. Kieu, A. Chavez-Pirson, and N. Peyghambarian, “Half-mJ all fiber based single frequency nanosecond pulsed fiber laser at 2 μm,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett.24(5), 353–355 (2012). [CrossRef]
  23. D. N. Schimpf, C. Ruchert, D. Nodop, J. Limpert, A. Tünnermann, and F. Salin, “Compensation of pulse-distortion in saturated laser amplifiers,” Opt. Express16(22), 17637–17646 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. G. P. Agrawal, Nonlinear Fiber Optics, Third Edition (Academic, 2001).
  25. J. Wu, “Thulium doped microsphere laser and fiber laser,” Dissertation, University of Arizona, (2005).
  26. A. E. Siegman, Lasers, First Edition (Academic, 1986).

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