Abstract

Different strategies for designing optical couplers, optimized to enhance the pump absorption in the rare-earth-doped core of microstructured fiber lasers, are illustrated. Three kinds/configurations of optical couplers have been designed and compared as examples of the different design strategies which can be followed. Their effectiveness to enhance the performance of an ytterbium-doped, double cladding, microstructured optical fiber laser has been accurately simulated. They consist of a suitable cascade of multiple long-period gratings (MLPGs) inscribed in the fiber core region. The characteristics of the MLPG couplers have been simulated via a homemade computer code based on both rate equations and an extended coupled mode theory. The proposed MLPG couplers seem particularly useful in the case of low rare-earth concentration but, even for a middle-high ytterbium concentration, as NYb=5×1025ions/m3, the slope efficiency S can be increased up to 20%, depending on the fiber length.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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