Abstract

Pumping rare-earth-doped double-clad fiber lasers with GaAlAs laser-diode bars typically requires one to transform a 1-cm-long one-dimensional linear array of tens of multimode laser-diode sources into a two-dimensional oblong cross section that approximately matches the fiber’s first cladding shape. I describe the design of a device, henceforth called a high-brightness geometric transformer, that uses a cylindrical microlens to image the laser-diode bar near field onto a linear array of soft-glass, thin-clad, rectangular fibers. In turn, the fibers output ends are arranged to form a stack that matches the required first cladding shape. For a typical laser-diode bar with a brightness of 25 mW · μm−2 · sr−1, the geometric transformer output brightness is 0.6 mW · μm−2 · sr−1, i.e., there is a 40× intermediate loss of brightness. If the output of the geometric transformer is used to pump a Nd-doped double-clad fiber laser, an overall brightness gain of 340× can be achieved.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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