Abstract

We report, for what we believe is the first time, generation of stable chair-like pulses (a pulse shape with an initial long flat portion followed by a short high peak power portion resembling the shape of a chair) by mode locking of a Ytterbium (Yb)-doped fiber laser. Chair-like pulse shapes are achieved by implementing dual saturable absorbers, one based on a nonlinear optical loop mirror (NOLM) and the other based on nonlinear polarization rotation (NPR) inside the cavity. The transmission characteristics of the NOLM-NPR pair leading to the formation of chair-like pulses are numerically investigated. We also report the amplification characteristics of chair-like pulses in an external multistage Yb-doped fiber amplifier setup at different repetition rates of the pulse train. It was found that the chair-like pulses are suitable for amplification, and more than 10 W of average power at 460 kHz repetition rate have been obtained at total pump power of 20W coupled to the power amplifier. At a lower repetition rate (115 kHz), 8W of average power were obtained corresponding to 70μJ of pulse energy with negligible contribution from amplified spontaneous emission or stimulated Raman scattering. We believe that such an oscillator-amplifier system could serve as an attractive tool for micromachining applications.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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