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Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 6 — Mar. 24, 2014
  • pp: 7075–7086
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Gain-shift induced by dopant concentration ratio in a thulium-bismuth doped fiber amplifier

Siamak Dawazdah Emami, Atieh Zarifi, Hairul Azhar Abdul Rashid, Ahmad Razif Muhammad, Mukul Chandra Paul, Arindam Halder, Shyamal Kumar Bhadra, Harith Ahmad, and Sulaiman Wadi Harun  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 6, pp. 7075-7086 (2014)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.22.007075


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Abstract

This paper details the effect of Thulium and Bismuth concentration ratio on gain-shift at 1800 nm and 1400 nm band in a Thulium-Bismuth Doped Fiber Amplifier (TBDFA). The effect of Thulium and Bismuth’s concentration ratio on gain shifting is experimentally established and subsequently numerically modeled. The analysis is carried out via the cross relaxation and energy transfer processes between the two dopants. The energy transfer in this process was studied through experimental and numerical analysis of three samples with different Tm/Bi concentration ratio of 2, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively. The optimized length for the three samples (TBDFA-1, TBDFA-2 and TBDFA-3) was determined and set at 6.5, 4 and 5.5 m, respectively. In addition, the experimental result of Thulium Doped Fiber Amplifier (TDFA) was compared with the earlier TBDFA samples. The gain for TBDFA-1, with the highest Tm/Bi ratio, showed no shift at the 1800 nm region, while TBDFA-2 and TBDFA-3, possessing a lower Tm/Bi concentration ratio, shifted to the region of 1950 and 1960 nm, respectively. The gain shifting from 1460 nm to 1490 nm is also observed. The numerical model demonstrates that the common 3F4 layer for 1460 nm emission (3H43F4), and 1800 nm emission (3F43H6) inversely affects the 1460 nm and 1800 nm gain shifting.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

1. Introduction

In recent years, Thulium Doped Fiber Amplifiers (TDFA) have given rise to much attention due to their several lasing and amplification properties at 800 nm [1

1. P. Peterka, I. Kasik, A. Dhar, B. Dussardier, and W. Blanc, “Theoretical modeling of fiber laser at 810 nm based on thulium-doped silica fibers with enhanced 3H4 level lifetime,” Opt. Express 19(3), 2773–2781 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], 1470 nm [2

2. T. Komukai, T. Yamamoto, T. Sugawa, and Y. Miyajima, “Upconversion pumped thulium-doped fluoride fiber amplifier and laser operating at 1.47 mu m,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 31, 1880–1889 (1995). [CrossRef]

] and 1900 nm [3

3. C. A. Evans, Z. Ikonic, B. Richards, P. Harrison, and A. Jha, “Theoretical modeling of a ~2 μm Tm3+-doped tellurite fiber laser: the influence of cross relaxation,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(18), 4026–4032 (2009). [CrossRef]

] regions. The existence of different amplification regions in Thulium makes it viable for many applications. In the telecommunication industry, amplifiers operating near 830 nm, which are located in the first telecommunications window, are viable for short distance distribution and local area networks [4

4. S. D. Emami, Thulium Doped Fiber Amplifier, Numerical and Experimental Approach (Nova Science, 2011).

]. Additionally, efforts to increase communication traffic have directed resources towards developing broadband amplifiers intended to amplify the new short wavelength band (S-band), on top of the existing C- and L-bands. TDFAs is a promising candidate for S-band amplification, due to amplification bandwidth of the TDFA is mostly centered at 1470 nm [5

5. P. Peterka, B. Faure, W. Blanc, M. Karasek, and B. Dussardier, “Theoretical modelling of S-band thulium-doped silica fibre amplifiers,” Opt. Quantum Electron. 36(1–3), 201–212 (2004). [CrossRef]

]. However, Silica host TDFA suffers from high phonon energy and very short radiative lifetime at 3H4 that causes low gain in the S-band region. To improve TDFA amplification, several methods have been proposed. The development of alternative host materials with reduced phonon energy [1

1. P. Peterka, I. Kasik, A. Dhar, B. Dussardier, and W. Blanc, “Theoretical modeling of fiber laser at 810 nm based on thulium-doped silica fibers with enhanced 3H4 level lifetime,” Opt. Express 19(3), 2773–2781 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], multi-doped technique [6

6. A. Pal, A. Dhar, S. Das, S. Y. Chen, T. Sun, R. Sen, and K. T. Grattan, “Ytterbium-sensitized Thulium-doped fiber laser in the near-IR with 980 nm pumping,” Opt. Express 18(5), 5068–5074 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

], and external perturbation technique such as macro bending approach [7

7. S. D. Emami, H. A. A. Rashid, S. Z. M. Yasin, K. A. M. Shariff, M. I. Zulkifli, Z. Yusoff, H. Ahmad, and S. W. Harun, “New design of a thulium, aluminum-doped fiber amplifier based on macro-bending approach,” J. Lightwave Technol. 30(20), 3263–3272 (2012). [CrossRef]

] all results in higher amplification efficiency. Different co-doped with Thulium has been demonstrated, including Thulium-Ytterbium, Thulium- Terbium, Thulium-Erbium, Thulium- Holmium and Thulium-Bismuth. In order to improve the amplification efficiency using a commercial 800 nm pump [8

8. R. R. T. Xu, M. Wang, Y. L. L. Hu, and J. J. Zhang, “Spectroscopic properties of 1.8 μm emission of thulium ions in germanate glass,” Appl. Phys., A Mater. Sci. Process. 102, 109–116 (2011).

, 9

9. S. D. Jackson and T. A. King, “Theoretical modeling of Tm-doped silica fiber lasers,” J. Lightwave Technol. 17(5), 948–956 (1999). [CrossRef]

], Bismuth co-doped with Thulium has been proposed [10

10. H. Fatehi, S. D. Emami, A. Zarifi, F. Z. Zahedi, S. E. Mirnia, A. Zarei, H. Ahmad, and S. W. Harun, “Analytical model for broadband thulium-bismuth-doped fiber amplifier,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron 48(8), 1052–1058 (2012). [CrossRef]

]. On top of cross relaxation process between Thulium ions, TBDFA provides effective energy transfer channels from Bismuth to Thulium, which results in higher amplification efficiency at 1800 ~2000 nm, and the 1460 nm region [11

11. B. Zhou, H. Lin, B. Chen, and E. Y. Pun, “Superbroadband near-infrared emission in Tm-Bi codoped sodium-germanium-gallate glasses,” Opt. Express 19(7), 6514–6523 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. Bismuth emission spectrum, together with Thulium near infrared luminescence leads to a super broadband emission spectrum in the range of 1560-1900 nm. The origin of Bismuth’s near infrared luminescence is unclear. However, literatures suggest that it mainly occurs as a result of 3P13P0 transition in low-valence Bismuth, such as Bi+ and Bi2+ [12

12. G. P. Dong, X. D. Xiao, J. J. Ren, J. Ruan, X. F. Liu, J. R. Qiu, C. G. Lin, H. Z. Tao, and X. J. Zhao, “Broadband infrared luminescence from bismuth-doped GeS2-Ga2S3 chalcogenide glasses,” Chin. Phys. Lett. 25(5), 1891–1894 (2008). [CrossRef]

14

14. S. Zhou, H. Dong, H. Zeng, J. Hao, J. Chen, and J. Qiu, “Infrared luminescence and amplification properties of Bi-doped GeO(2)-Ga(2)O(3)-Al(2)O(3) glasses,” J. Appl. Phys. 103(10), 103532 (2008). [CrossRef]

]. Ren et al [15

15. J. Ren, G. Dong, S. Xu, R. Bao, and J. Qiu, “Inhomogeneous broadening, luminescence origin and optical amplification in bismuth-doped glass,” J. Phys. Chem. A 112(14), 3036–3039 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

] ascribes infrared luminescence excited at 700, 800 and 980 nm to Bi+ as an active center.

In this work, the Thulium-Bismuth co-doped preform samples were prepared from pure silica tube by conventional MCVD method with solution doping technique, allowing other materials like aluminum to be incorporated in the glass to reduce its phonon energy. The doping levels of bismuth and aluminum was controlled with variation of the strength of the precursors of bismuth and aluminum in an alcoholic solution as well as the solution doping soaking time and the deposition temperature of the porous core layer. The Thulium-Bismuth Doped Fiber (TBDF) samples were pumped with 800 nm source, and their ASE was observed. The ASE emission shift in TBDFA at the 1800 and 1450 nm regions were observed. This shift is achieved differently at different Tm/Bi concentration ratio. Different concentrations of Thulium and Bismuth produces different energy transfer and cross relaxation rates. We demonstrate, via rigorous numerical modeling, the variation in cross relaxation rates and energy transfers accounts for the different population inversions between 3H4 and 3F4 energy level, and will consequently create different fractional inversions in the 1800 and 1460 nm bands. Three TBDF samples with Tm/Bi concentration ratios of 2, 0.5 and 0.2 were examined. The experimental results showed a gradual shift from 1800 to 1960 nm, and 1490 to 1460 nm as the concentration ratios of TBDF sample decreases. This result clearly agrees with the numerical analysis and estimated energy transfer rates.

2. Experimental setup

Fig. 1 The General Configuration of TBDFA.
Figure 1 shows the configuration of the TBDFA, which consists of the doped fiber, a WDM coupler, 800 nm pump laser and two optical isolators. Three samples of Thulium-Bismuth doped fiber with the glass composition of xTm2O3 - yBi2O3 -Al2O3 - GeO2-Li2O + SiO2, with x = 0.07, 0.02, 0.01 mol% and y = 0.03, 0.07 and 0.04 mol% were prepared for TBDF-1, TBDF-2 and TBDF-3 samples, respectively. A Thulium doped fiber with a Thulium concentration of 7.8 × 1018 ion/cm3 was also used in the experiment as a reference. The pump light and the input signal are combined using the WDM coupler. On top of easy availability and cost effectiveness, 800 nm pumps possess one of the most efficient Thulium-Bismuth absorption wavelengths. Hence, we focus mainly on 800 nm diodes as pump sources, with a total pump power of 200 mW.

3. Spectroscopic parameters

4. Numerical model

Wij(z)=0λΓ(λ)σij((Pλ+(z,λ)+Pλ(z,λ))hcπb2dλ
(10)

The effect of Thulium and Bismuth’s concentration ratio on fractional inversion mechanism was investigated through studying the energy transfer processes between Thulium and Bismuth. Cross relaxation Ccr, K1, K2 and K3 energy transfer rates for different Thulium and Bismuth concentrations are shown in the following sections to illuminate the effects of Thulium and Bismuth concentration on fractional inversion.

5. Energy transfer and cross relaxation calculation

5.1 K1 Energy transfer process

According to the following equation, below a certain Bismuth concentration, energy transfer probability changes linearly with the product of sensitizer and activator concentration [27

27. A. Zarifi, S. D. Emami, F. Z. Zahedi, H. Fatehi, S. E. Mirnia, H. Ahmad, and S. W. Harun, “Quantitative analysis of energy transfer processes in Thulium–Bismuth germanate co-doped fiber amplifier,” Opt. Mater. 35(2), 231–239 (2012). [CrossRef]

, 28

28. A. Braud, S. Girard, J. L. Doualan, M. Thuau, R. Moncorgé, and A. M. Tkachuk, “Energy-transfer processes in Yb:Tm-doped KY3F10, LiYF4, and BaY2F8 single crystals for laser operation at 1.5 and 2.3 μm,” Phys. Rev. B 61(8), 5280–5292 (2000). [CrossRef]

]
Ki=NTm×NBi×δ
(13)
where δ is a constant. In the case of K1, which is a phonon-assisted energy transfer process, the value of the energy transfer probability could also be calculated from Bismuth’s lifetime:

K1=1/τ6BiTm1/τ6Bi
(14)

In the above equation, τ6Bi andτ6BiTm are the Bismuth’s lifetime at 1300 nm emission without and with Thulium [11

11. B. Zhou, H. Lin, B. Chen, and E. Y. Pun, “Superbroadband near-infrared emission in Tm-Bi codoped sodium-germanium-gallate glasses,” Opt. Express 19(7), 6514–6523 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

, 29

29. J. Ruan, G. Dong, X. Liu, Q. Zhang, D. Chen, and J. Qiu, “Enhanced broadband near-infrared emission and energy transfer in Bi-Tm-codoped germanate glasses for broadband optical amplification,” Opt. Lett. 34(16), 2486–2488 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. By understanding Bismuth’s lifetime at 1300 nm with and without Thulium, the value of K1 could be calculated. In order to find an average value for K1, we performed a linear curve fitting process for the three samples with Bismuth concentrations of 0.07, 0.02 and 0.01 mol%, and Thulium concentrations of 0.03, 0.07 and 0.04 mol%.
Fig. 4 (a). K1 energy transfer probability versus Thulium*Bismuth concentration, (b) K2 and K3 energy transfer probabilities at different Thulium*Bismuth concentration.
As shown in Fig. 4(a), the slope of the K1 probability line (δ) is obtained by fitting three K1 values to Eq. (13), which is equal to 5.5 × 10−37 cm6/s. The variations in K1 values arise from the fact that experimental measurement of lifetime always introduces some errors in the exact lifetime value.

5.2 K2 and K3 energy transfer processes

There is a strong overlap between the sensitizer emission and activator absorption in the K2 and K3 energy transfer processes [30

30. H. Tang, H. P. Xia, Y. P. Zhang, H. Y. Hu, and H. C. Jiang, “Spectral properties of and energy transfer in Bi/Tm co-doped silicate glasses,” J. Opt. 14, 125402 (2012).

]. The energy gap between two energy levels is less than the maximum phonon energy of the doping host, here mainly alumina-germania-silicate therefore, this process is considered as a resonant energy transfer. Using the information from absorption and emission overlap between Thulium and Bismuth, the energy transfer probability K2 and K3 were calculated by employing the Bershtien’s model. In this model, the energy transfer probability (KH) is determined using [28

28. A. Braud, S. Girard, J. L. Doualan, M. Thuau, R. Moncorgé, and A. M. Tkachuk, “Energy-transfer processes in Yb:Tm-doped KY3F10, LiYF4, and BaY2F8 single crystals for laser operation at 1.5 and 2.3 μm,” Phys. Rev. B 61(8), 5280–5292 (2000). [CrossRef]

]:

KH=[π(2π/3)5/2CBiTm1/2CBiBi1/2]NTmNBi
(15)

CBiBi, and CBiTm are energy transfer micro-parameters, while NTm and NBi are Thulium and Bismuth’s concentrations, respectively. Based on this model, the energy transfer parameter (KH) described by expression 15 is adopted whenCBiBi>CBiTm.
CBiBi=3c8π4n2σseBi(λ)×σsaBi(λ)dλ
(16)
CBiTm=3c8π4n2σseBi(λ)×σsaTm(λ)dλ
(17)
where σAbs and σEms are absorption and emission cross sections, n is the refractive index of the glass and c is the speed of light. K2 and K3 are calculated by applying Eq. (15) and determining the Bismuth and Thulium’s concentration beforehand. Similar to K1 energy transfer probabilities, K2 and K3 change linearly vis-à-vis Thulium and Bismuth’s concentrations. The slope of the lines is equal to 4.24 × 10−37 cm6s−1 and 2.02 × 10−37 cm6 s1 as depicted at Fig. 4(b).

5.3 Cross relaxation process

The cross relaxation rate is categorized in dipole-dipole interaction, and depends on the distance between two ions participating in the interaction. The cross relaxation probability is determined by following expression:
CiN=cm/R6
(18)
where R indicates the distance between two ions, N denotes the density of ions, Ci is the cross relaxation rate and cm is its associated micro-parameter [31

31. J. Ganem, J. Crawford, P. Schmidt, N. Jenkins, and S. Bowman, “Thulium cross-relaxation in a low phonon energy crystalline host,” Phys. Rev. B 66(24), 245101 (2002). [CrossRef]

]. Under a low-pump power, the distance between two interaction ions remains in the range of atomic distance, which could be calculated byR=(1/N)1/3. Therefore, Ci is determined byCi=cmN, where cm=Nccr. If the observed coefficient, 5.5 × 10−45 cm6/s, is taken as an estimate for the coefficient in silica glass [32

32. A. S. Simpson, “Spectroscopy of thulium doped silica glass,” Victoria University (2010).

], the cross relaxation rate at different Thulium concentrations follows the linear pattern shown in Fig. 5.
Fig. 5 Cross relaxation rate at different Thulium concentrations.

The above equations show that the cross relaxation process (Ccr) is highly susceptible to the concentration of Thulium. Therefore, increasing Thulium’s concentration directly affects the cross relaxation rate and by extension, F4‘s population. These phenomena alter the n1, n2 and n3 populations, and lead to fractional inversion at 1460 nm emission (3H43F4) and 1800 nm (3F43H6)

6. Results and discussion

In order to ensure that the observed gain shifting originates from Thulium and Bismuth concentration ratio, the product of the dopants’ concentration and fiber volume is fixed in all of the three samples, as explained by [16

16. S. Aozasa, H. Masuda, and M. Shimizu, “S-band thulium-doped fiber amplifier employing high thulium concentration doping technique,” J. Lightwave Technol. 24(10), 3842–3848 (2006). [CrossRef]

]. The optimized length for TBDFA-1, TBDFA-2 and TBDFA-3 was calculated and set at 6.5, 4 and 5.5 m respectively. The product of thulium dopant concentration and fiber volume was fixed at 3.3 × 1019 ions.
Fig. 7 ASE diagram of Thulium-Bismuth co-doped and Thulium singly doped samples at 1400 and 2000 nm.
Figure 7 shows the ASE spectra for three TBDFA samples, and the results are compared with Thulium single-doped fiber amplifier. The 800 nm pump power was set at 200 mw. In the TDFA sample with a Thulium concentration of 7.8 × 1018 ion/cm3 and 8 m in length, the only energy transfer process between Thulium ions is the cross relaxation process. The cross relaxation process, however, is highly dependent on Thulium’s concentration, since the involved inter-ionic contraction depends on ion spacing. A slightly broaden amplified region can be observed in TBDFA samples on account of Bismuth’s characteristic. At 1800 nm band, a shift in amplification gain to the longer wavelengths is observed in TBDFA-2 and TBDFA-3 samples. The population difference between the ground state and upper laser level F4 governs this phenomenon. As expected, common 3F4 level at 1460 nm emission (3H43F4) and 1800 nm (3F43H6) inversely affects the 1460 and 1800 nm fractional inversions. Referring to Fig. 7, the gain shifted from 1460 nm at TBDFA-3 sample, to 1490 nm at TBDFA-1 sample. No ASE is observed at 1450 nm in Thulium single-doped sample compared to TBDFA samples, because 3H4 energy level is being mainly populated by K3 energy transfer from Bismuth to Thulium.

Fig. 8 The results for N1, N2, N4 and fractional inversion for three Thulium Bismuth samples. The input 800 nm pump power was fixed at 200 mw and two signal powers of 1460 nm and 1850 nm with −35 dBm power was set in the numerical model. The N1, N2 and N4 value increases with the Thulium concentration.
Figure 8 shows results for n1, n2, n4 and fractional inversion for each Thulium-Bismuth samples. n1, n2 and n4 values are directly proportional to Thulium’s concentration. For the TBDFA-1 sample, cross relaxation, K1,K2 and K3 energy transfer rates are 4.8 × 10−6 s−1, 3930, 162 and 77 s−1 respectively. As previously explained, the effect of cross relaxation from the ground state to the 3F4 level intensifies as Thulium’s concentration increases. High Thulium × Bismuth concentrations leads to high population difference between n1 and n2, and consequently high n2 /(n2 + n1) fractional inversion of 0.98 at the tip of the optimized length of 6.5 m. On the account of high fractional inversion, the amplification’s peak remains at a conventional 1800 nm wavelength, and it is in complete agreement with the 1800 nm GPUL spectrum shown in Fig. 6(b). In addition to this, the fractional inversion n4 /(n4 + n2) decreases as the concentration increases. Low fractional inversion of almost 0.65 at the tip of the optimized length of 6.5 m led to a gain shift from 1470 nm conventional amplification peak, to 1490 nm, as expected from 1460 nm GPUL spectrum shown in Fig. 6(a).

6. Conclusion

Acknowledgments

We will like to acknowledge the financial support from University Malaya/MOHE under grant numbers UM.C/625/1/HIR/MOHE/SCI/29.

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P. Peterka, I. Kasik, A. Dhar, B. Dussardier, and W. Blanc, “Theoretical modeling of fiber laser at 810 nm based on thulium-doped silica fibers with enhanced 3H4 level lifetime,” Opt. Express 19(3), 2773–2781 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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C. A. Evans, Z. Ikonic, B. Richards, P. Harrison, and A. Jha, “Theoretical modeling of a ~2 μm Tm3+-doped tellurite fiber laser: the influence of cross relaxation,” J. Lightwave Technol. 27(18), 4026–4032 (2009). [CrossRef]

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28.

A. Braud, S. Girard, J. L. Doualan, M. Thuau, R. Moncorgé, and A. M. Tkachuk, “Energy-transfer processes in Yb:Tm-doped KY3F10, LiYF4, and BaY2F8 single crystals for laser operation at 1.5 and 2.3 μm,” Phys. Rev. B 61(8), 5280–5292 (2000). [CrossRef]

29.

J. Ruan, G. Dong, X. Liu, Q. Zhang, D. Chen, and J. Qiu, “Enhanced broadband near-infrared emission and energy transfer in Bi-Tm-codoped germanate glasses for broadband optical amplification,” Opt. Lett. 34(16), 2486–2488 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

30.

H. Tang, H. P. Xia, Y. P. Zhang, H. Y. Hu, and H. C. Jiang, “Spectral properties of and energy transfer in Bi/Tm co-doped silicate glasses,” J. Opt. 14, 125402 (2012).

31.

J. Ganem, J. Crawford, P. Schmidt, N. Jenkins, and S. Bowman, “Thulium cross-relaxation in a low phonon energy crystalline host,” Phys. Rev. B 66(24), 245101 (2002). [CrossRef]

32.

A. S. Simpson, “Spectroscopy of thulium doped silica glass,” Victoria University (2010).

OCIS Codes
(140.4480) Lasers and laser optics : Optical amplifiers
(160.5690) Materials : Rare-earth-doped materials

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics

History
Original Manuscript: September 19, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 13, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 22, 2014
Published: March 19, 2014

Citation
Siamak Dawazdah Emami, Atieh Zarifi, Hairul Azhar Abdul Rashid, Ahmad Razif Muhammad, Mukul Chandra Paul, Arindam Halder, Shyamal Kumar Bhadra, Harith Ahmad, and Sulaiman Wadi Harun, "Gain-shift induced by dopant concentration ratio in a thulium-bismuth doped fiber amplifier," Opt. Express 22, 7075-7086 (2014)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-22-6-7075


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References

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