∼2 μm Tm3+/Yb3+-doped tellurite fibre laser

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Abstract

We present, for the first time, laser emission in the range 1.910–1.994 μm in Tm3+/Yb3+-doped tellurite fibre when pumped using an Yb3+-doped double-clad silica fibre laser operating at 1.088 μm. With this pump scheme there was strong pump excited state absorption (ESA) which caused upconversion emission at 800 nm and 480 nm due to the Tm3+: 3H4 → 3H6 and Tm3+: 1G4 → 3H6 transitions, respectively. This strong ESA limited the maximum slope efficiency to 10% with respect to absorbed pump power, and the maximum output power to 67 mW. This is however the highest output power which has been achieved in a tellurite fibre laser so far. The lowest observed threshold was 114 mW for a 22 cm long fibre and a 90% reflective output coupler. Further power scaling was limited due to thermal damage at the pump end of the fibre. The optimum fibre length for this arrangement was around 16 cm but lasing was achieved in lengths ranging from <9 to 30 cm. Tellurite glass offers significant advantages over silicate and fluoride glasses which make it a very promising material for compact, medium power, near and mid-IR fibre lasers for range-finding, medical and atmospheric monitoring and sensing applications.