Abstract

We demonstrate mode locking of a thulium–bismuth codoped fiber laser (TBFL) operating at 1901.6 nm, using a graphene-based saturable absorber (SA). In this work, a single layer graphene is mechanically exfoliated using the scotch tape method and directly transferred onto the surface of a fiber pigtail to fabricate the SA. The obtained Raman spectrum characteristic indicates that the graphene on the core surface has a single layer. At 1552 nm pump power of 869 mW, the mode-locked TBFL self starts to generate an optical pulse train with a repetition rate of 16.7 MHz and pulse width of 0.37 ps. This is a simple, low-cost, stable, and convenient laser oscillator for applications where eye-safe and low-photon-energy light sources are required, such as sensing and biomedical diagnostics.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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