Abstract

An actively Q-switched thulium–holmium-codoped fiber laser incorporating an Si-based variable optical attenuator (VOA) is experimentally demonstrated. It has been shown that an Si-based VOA with a response time of hundreds of nanoseconds can be used as a cost-effective 2 μm Q switch due to its extremely wide operating bandwidth from 1.5 to 2 μm, and low electrical power consumption. In our study, the laser’s slope efficiency was measured to be 17% at an operating wavelength of 1.89 μm. The repetition rate tuning range was from 20 to 80 kHz, which was limited by the optical damage threshold and the response time. The minimum temporal pulsewidth was measured to be 184ns at a modulation frequency of 20 kHz, and the corresponding maximum peak power was 10W.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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