Abstract

A gain-switched all-fiber thulium laser at 2 μm with high repetition rate has been demonstrated under a hybrid pumping scheme combined of a pulsed pump at 1.56 μm and CW pump at 793 nm. The in-band pulsed pump at 1.56 μm triggers the gain-switching pulses while the CW pump at 793 nm facilitates the energy storage. Therefore, the seed cavity delivers high energy pulses allowing the elimination of multistage amplification. Such hybrid pump configuration is effective for generating gain-switched pulses of high average power with better slope efficiency and pulse width of a few hundreds of a nanosecond. The optimized cavity under such hybrid pump configuration provides output power of 5.92 W from the gain-switched oscillator with slope efficiency of 60% and pulse width of 300 ns at a repetition rate of 344 kHz. Maximum pulse energy of 17.2 μJ and peak power of 53.9 W has been achieved at this repetition rate. Stable gain-switched pulses at reduced pump pulse energy have been achieved by the use of a CW pump at 793 nm. This novel pump configuration facilitates gain switch at higher repetition rates where enough pump pulse energy may not be available. The gain-switched laser also operates at 520 kHz and 1.3 MHz repetition rate by changing the 1.56 μm pulsed pump and cavity length.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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