Efficient Yb laser fibers with low photodarkening by optimization of the core composition
in: Optics Express (2008)
We report on photodarkening (PD) investigations at Yb doped fibers with specific variation of the concentrations of the codopants aluminum and phosphorus, measured during cladding pumping at 915 nm. A core composition with equal content of Al and P is most promising to achieve Yb fibers with low PD, high laser efficiency and low numerical aperture of the laser core despite of high codoping. A laser output power of more than 100 W was demonstrated on such a fiber with a slope efficiency of 72%. The correlation of the PD loss with the NIR-excited cooperative luminescence encourages the supposition that cooperative energy transfer from excited Yb3+ ions to the atomic defect precursors in the core glass enables the formation of color centers in the pump-induced PD process.