Abstract

A compact all-fiber multimode interferometer (MMI) designed to produce a switchable multi-wavelength thulium-doped fiber laser (TDFL) is proposed and demonstrated. The TDFL fiber ring cavity employs a 60-cm-long multimode fiber into the cavity to induce multimode interference and provide intensity-dependent loss in order to generate a multi-wavelength output. The suppression of mode competition and the overall stability of the TDFL are further improved by exploiting the filtering capability of a Sagnac loop. By increasing the pump power, a switchable wavelength output is allowed with a wavelength spacing of 1.8  nm. At 361 mW input pump power, nine laser lines are generated, with a maximum signal-to-noise ratio value of 36  dB and an output power of 3.3 mW. The multi-wavelength TDFL also exhibits great stability in one-hour operation with a wavelength drift of 0.2 nm. The proposed multi-wavelength TDFL has potential to be employed in future thulium-doped fiber amplifier-based telecommunication infrastructure and also may be applicable in areas such as sensing and spectroscopy, largely associated with its 2 μm wavelength output.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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