Abstract

We report a mode-locking operation using a nonlinear multimode interference (MMI)-based saturable absorber in an ytterbium-doped fiber laser under an all-normal dispersion configuration. The MMI is observed in a step-index single mode-multimode-single mode (SMS) fiber structure. The intensity and wavelength-dependent transmission of the SMS structure has been studied numerically to understand the Kerr-induced saturable absorber properties of MMI in a step-index fiber. Numerical investigations show that presence of a narrow-band wavelength-tunable spectral filter is necessary for a nonlinear MMI-based saturable absorber to be effective for mode locking. A single-pulse mode-locking operation in the laser is realized at a very low pump power of ${\sim}{56.3}\;{\rm mW}$ at which the laser generates 180 ps duration pulses at ${\sim}{9}\;{\rm MHz}$ repetition rate with measured signal-to-noise ratio of ${\sim}{50}\;{\rm dB}$. This all-fiber integrated laser operates in multi-pulse and noise-like rectangular pulse regimes at increased pump power.

© 2021 Optical Society of America

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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