Estimation and Management of Performance Limiting Factors in the Development of 1 kW Peak Power Pulsed Fiber MOPA at 1550 nm
An all-fiber three-stage master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA), based on Erbium and Erbium-Ytterbium co-doped fibers, has been designed and developed. The performance of such a laser is primarily limited by amplified spontaneous emission (ASE), Yb bottlenecking, and non-linear effects. Other important factors, that need to be considered towards performance improvement, are fiber bend diameter and heat generated in the fiber. This paper describes the methodology for the estimation and management of these limiting factors for each amplifier stage. The work presented here is limited to the fibers which are commercially easily available, unlike customised Yb- free large mode area (LMA) Erbium-doped fibers, where very high peak and average powers are being reported due to the absence of Yb ASE. Presented experimental results and discussion shall be beneficial for the fiber laser amplifier designers. With suitable management, 1 kW peak power pulses of 30 ns duration at 200 kHz repetition rate have been achieved with 30 % optical efficiency. The collimated output of 6 W average power (limited by Yb ASE) with high beam quality (M2 ≈ 1.6) at 1550 nm can be employed for a variety of applications. By adding additional amplifier stages, power can be scaled further.
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