Efficient Yb laser fibers with low photodarkening by optimization of the core composition

in: Optics Express (2008)
Jetschke, Sylvia; Unger, Sonja; Schwuchow, Anka; Leich, Martin; Kirchhof, Johannes
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.

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