Neodymium- and praseodymium-doped ZBLAN fluorozirconate glass are the most promising candidates for fiber amplifiers in the 1300-nm telecommunication window [1-3]. However, each suffers from serious problems that limit performance. We have examined the practical limits of performance for neodymium- and praseodymium-doped fiber amplifiers (NDFAs and PDFAs, respectively) in power amplifier applications using quantitative numerical models and measured cross sections. In general, only PDFAs provide gain over the complete wavelength range of interest but NDFAs are expected to have higher efficiencies.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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