Discretely tunable Tm-doped fiber-based MOPA using FBG arrays as spectral filters

in: Temporal Proceedings (2016)
Tiess, Tobias; Junaid, Saher; Becker, Martin; Rothhardt, Manfred; Bartelt, Hartmut; Jäger, Matthias
Over the past years, Thulium (Tm) -doped fiber lasers in the 2μm region have gained a lot of interest due to many potential applications in materials processing and biophotonics. Based on the broad gain regions spanning from 1800nm to 2100nm, they offer the perfect basis to implement broadly tunable and user-friendly light sources like they are increasingly demanded in spectroscopic applications. Recently, a novel tuning mechanism based on a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) array as versatile spectral filter has been reported. This concept combines unique spectral freedom for customized tuning ranges and ultrabroad bandwidths with a fiber-integrated setup in order to maintain the advantages of the waveguide geometry. In this work, we demonstrate such a dispersion tuned and pulsed fiber laser in the Tm domain around 1950nm using a modulator and a discrete FBG array to control the emission wavelength. In order to comply with the demands of potential applications in biophotonics, for the first time, this tuning concept is realized in a polarization maintaining (PM) configuration ensuring linearly polarized output. While a simple FBG array is employed containing five gratings inscribed in PM fiber, we also outline the prospect to implement FBGs fabricated in a standard single mode fiber. The emission characteristics of the system are investigated showing pulse durations down to 11ns and a good spectral signal contrast. In order to highlight the prospect for tunable high-power operation, we have also implemented an amplification stage scaling the average power to more than 25W.

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