Abstract

A method of detecting mode hopping for single-longitudinal-mode (SLM) fiber ring lasers has been proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The method that is based on an unbalanced Michelson interferometer (MI) utilizing phase generated carrier modulation instantly transforms mode-hopping dynamics into steep phase changes of the interferometer. Multiform mode hops in an SLM erbium-doped fiber ring laser with an 18.6 MHz mode spacing have been detected exactly in real-time domain and discussed in detail. Numerical results show that the MI-based method has a high testing sensitivity for identifying mode hopping, which will play a significant role in evaluating the output stability of SLM fiber lasers.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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