Abstract

This paper reports on the recent progress in the design and fabrication of high-nonlinearity lead-silicate holey fibers (HFs). First, the fabrication of a fiber designed to offer close to the maximum possible nonlinearity per unit length in this glass type is described. A value of \gamma = 1860 W<sup>-1</sup> · km<sup>-1</sup> at a wavelength of 1.55 µm is achieved, which is believed to be a record for any fiber at this wavelength. Second, the design and fabrication of a fiber with a slightly reduced nonlinearity but with dispersion-shifted characteristics tailored to enhance broadband supercontinuum (SC) generation when pumped at a wavelength of 1.06 µm-a wavelength readily generated using Yb-doped fiber lasers-are described. SC generation spanning more than 1000 nm is observed for modest pulse energies of \sim 100 pJ using a short length of this fiber. Finally, the results of numerical simulations of the SC process in the proposed fibers are presented, which are in good agreement with the experimental observations and highlight the importance of accurate control of the zero-dispersion wavelength (ZDW) when optimizing such fibers for SC performance.

© 2006 IEEE

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