Abstract

A $Q$-switched Er:ZBLAN fiber laser operating at 2.8 µm was realized by employing Sb as the saturable material. The Sb material was deposited on a gold mirror by the magnetron-sputtering deposition method to develop a saturable absorber mirror (SAM). By employing the Sb-SAM in an Er:ZBLAN fiber laser, stable $Q$-switching operation was achieved at central wavelength of 2799.7 nm with the repetition rates ranging from 33.3 to 58.8 kHz and the pulse duration ranging from 5.7 to 1.7 µs. The Sb-SAM still works stably under the maximum pump power of 5.6 W, with an output power of 59 mW corresponding to the pulse energy of 1.03 µJ. To our knowledge, this was the first demonstration of Sb-based saturable material in Er:ZBLAN fiber laser for mid-infrared $Q$-switched pulse generation operating in the 2.8 µm regime, indicating its potential applications in the mid-infrared waveband.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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