Abstract

The first rare-earth-doped fiber lasers were operated in the early sixties and produced a few milliwatts at a wavelength around 1 μm. For the next several decades, fiber lasers were little more than a low-power laboratory curiosity. Recently, however, fiber lasers are entering the realm of kilowatt powers in continuous as well as in pulse operation with diffraction-limited beam quality. In this article we review this power evolution.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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