The erbium ion (Er3+) exhibits a number of laser transitions in various host materials. In crystalline hosts recent work has concentrated on pulsed and cw operation of the normally self-terminating 4/11/24/13/2 transition around 2800 nm1 where there is considerable interest for medical applications. In silica fiber hosts, the erbium system has only exhibited a single, but very important, laser line corresponding to the 4/13/24/15/2 three-level transition around 1530 nm, which is of interest in optical communications. In bulk erbium doped fluoride glasses, however, many other transitions are radiative. Pulsed operation of the 4/11/24/13/2 transition has been demonstrated in bulk glasses,2 and in fluoride fibers cw operation of that and the 4/13/24/15/2 transition has been achieved.3,4

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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