Er3+-Tm3+ co-doped SiO2-Al2O3-GeO2 core optical fibers were fabricated by the MCVD technique with aerosol delivery to study laser performance of either erbium or thulium or both ions simultaneously when pumped at 980 nm. Observed luminescence spectra can be explained by the existence of a resonant non-radiative energy transfer between Er3+ and Tm3+ ions, namely from excited Er3+ manifolds 4I13/2 and 4I9/2 to the Tm3+ energy levels 3F4 (luminescence with a central wavelength of 1.4 µm) and 3H4 (1.85 µm) respectively. With the pump source wavelength between 945 and 995 nm lasing from Er3+ ions (around 1.55 µm), Tm3+ ions (around 1.85-1.96 µm) or from both ions simultaneously was possible depending on parameters of mirrors in the laser cavity, fiber length, pump rate and pump wavelength.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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