We report on a cladding-pumped, ytterbium-doped large-core-area fiber amplifier that is capable of generating 51.2 W average power at 1064 nm center wavelength, 80 MHz repetition rate and 10 ps pulse duration. In a ytterbium-doped large- mode-area fiber the amplification of these pulses up to 43.2 W with diffraction limited beam quality (M2 ~ 1.3) could be realized. Power scaling limitations due to nonlinear distortions such as self-phase modulation and stimulated Raman scattering are discussed.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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