High power laser operation with crystal fibers
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- Sangla, D., Martial, I., Aubry, N. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2009) 97: 263. doi:10.1007/s00340-009-3666-x
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We present the very last results on the development of high-power lasers with crystal fibers in Nd:YAG and in Yb:YAG grown by the Micro-Pulling Down technique. An overview of the main optical properties of the grown crystal fibers is given as well as the principles of the diode-pumped systems are developed. The average output power obtained with those materials reaches now several tens of watts in the CW regime and in high repetition rate Q-switched operation. Pulses with an energy of several millijoules have been obtained with pulse durations from 10 to 20 ns and peak powers from 100 kW to 350 kW. In each case, the measured M2 quality factors remained in the range 2.5 to 5. In addition, the first demonstration of high-power laser emission with an Yb:YAG crystal fiber of 0.4 mm in diameter is reported. In this case, we obtained an output power of 27 W at 1030 nm under 100 W of pump power at 940 nm in CW regime. To our knowledge, those results represent the highest powers ever generated with crystal fibers obtained directly from the growth. We finally conclude this work by exposing the potential of crystal fiber lasers for a new generation of high-power laser systems.