The advances in performance of fiber lasers have been dramatic in the last 10 years, making fiber lasers a commercial business worth over \$500M/year. All of this is made possible by the unique performance attributes of rare earth doped silica fibers which is at the heart of each of these laser systems. In this talk we will review the key performance parameters of these fibers, such as large mode area (LMA) fibers and their use in high power CW lasers for industrial as well as non-industrial applications. The common rare earth dopants for silica fibers, namely Ytterbium, Erbium, Thulium and Holmium will also be described and fiber lasers operating at “eyesafer” wavelengths around 1.5 and 2m reviewed. Article not available.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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