Broadband, diode pumped Yb-doped fused silica laser
in: Optical Materials Express (2015) 704
We report on the fabrication, optical properties and, to the first time to our knowledge, lasing characteristics of Yb-doped fused silica in bulk volume. The glass rods were manufactured by sintering of Yb-doped fused silica granulates and subsequent homogenization. Samples of various thicknesses containing doping levels of 0.27 mol% and 0.39 mol%, respectively, were investigated. The glass shows a high optical quality with refractive index variations in the 10 ppm range. We successfully demonstrated quasi-cw lasing with a maximum optical to optical efficiency of 60 % and slope efficiencies of about 70 % with respect to absorbed pump power for all samples. The laser cavity could be tuned in a wavelength range of 100 nm. The large amplification bandwidth of fused silica was verified by gain distribution measurements in a double-pass amplifier configuration.