Abstract

We examine the effect of photodarkening-induced pump light absorption on Yb-doped fiber thermal loading. In these experiments, the fiber is cladding pumped at 915nm, air cooled by natural convection, and monitored with a midinfrared thermal camera. The fiber temperature is found to correlate with progressive photodarkening. The maximum observed fiber temperature was 120°C, recorded at a pump power of 10.5W. The observed increase in fiber temperature can be explained by a model that takes into account the combined effects of the Yb-silica quantum defect, the temperature dependence of the Yb-absorption cross section, and photodarkening-induced loss at 915nm. We hypothesize that the latter effect results in the progressive activation of temperature-dependent photochemical processes (e.g., bleaching) and is an important consideration with regard to the accurate modeling of Yb-doped fiber photodarkening kinetics.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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