Abstract

Bismuth (Bi)-doped laser glasses and fiber devices have aroused wide attentions due to their unique potential to work in the new spectral range of 1 to 1.8 μm traditional laser ions, such as rare earth, cannot reach. Current Bi-doped silica glass fibers have to be made by modified chemical vapor deposition at a temperature higher than 2000°C. This unavoidably leads to the tremendous loss of Bi by evaporation, since the temperature is several hundred degrees Celsius higher than the Bi boiling temperature, and, therefore, trace Bi (∼50  ppm) resides within the final product of silica fiber. So, the gain of such fiber is usually extremely low. One of the solutions is to make the fibers at a temperature much lower than the boiling temperature of Bi. The challenge for this is to find a lower melting point glass, which can stabilize Bi in the near infrared emission center and, meanwhile, does not lose glass transparency during fiber fabrication. None of previously reported Bi-doped multicomponent glasses can meet the prerequisite. Here, we, after hundreds of trials on optimization over glass components, activator content, melting temperature, etc., find a novel Bi-doped gallogermanate glass, which shows good tolerance to thermal impact and can accommodate a higher content of Bi. Consequently, we successfully manufacture the germanate fiber by a rod-in-tube technique at 850°C. The fiber exhibits similar luminescence to the bulk glass, and it shows saturated absorption at 808 nm rather than 980 nm as the incident power becomes higher than 4 W. Amplified spontaneous emissions are observed upon the pumps of either 980 or 1064 nm from germanate fiber.

© 2017 Chinese Laser Press

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