Abstract

Ion clustering is one of the major dissipative processes in the operation of Er3+-doped planar waveguide amplifiers and heavily doped fiber amplifiers. We propose and demonstrate a nondestructive method for measuring the fraction of erbium ions in doped planar waveguides and fibers that are quenched by ultrafast parasitic energy transfer in ion pairs or clusters. The method is based on unsaturable absorption measurements in the 980-nm absorption band. By combining transmission data at resonance with the corresponding data for radiation outside the absorption band, the influence of background and coupling losses can be eliminated.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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