Abstract

A continuous-wave (CW) as well as quasi-continuous wave (QCW) thulium-doped all-fiber laser at 1.94 μm has been designed for targeting applications in urology. The thulium-doped active fiber with an octagonal-shaped inner cladding is pumped at 793 nm to achieve stable CW laser power of 10 W with 32% lasing efficiency (against launched pump power). The linear variation of laser power with pump offers a scope of further power scaling. A QCW operation with variation of duty cycle from 0.5% to 90%, repetition rate from 0.1 Hz to 1 kHz, and pulse width from 40 μs to 2 s has been presented. Laser power of 9.5 W in CW mode of operation and average power of 5.2 W with energy range of 10.4–104 mJ in QCW mode of operation has been employed to fragment calcium oxalate monohydrate kidney stones (size of 1.5–4 cm) having different colors and composition. Dependence of ablation threshold, ablation rate, and average fragmented particle size on the average power and energy has been studied. One minute of laser exposure results in fragmentation of a stone surface with ablation rate of 8  mg/min having minimum particle size of 6.54 μm with an average size of 20–100 μm ensuring the natural removal of fragmented parts through the urethra.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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