Abstract

We report optical-damage-resistant Ti:Er:LiNbO$_{3}$ strip waveguide with high diffusion-doped surface Er$^{3+}$ concentration. The waveguide was fabricated starting from a commercial X-cut congruent LiNbO $_{3}$ plate with a two-step technological process in sequence of simultaneous work of Er$^{3+}$ diffusion doping and Li-poor vapor transport equilibration treatment, and fabrication of 6-μm-wide Ti-diffused strip waveguide (Z-propagation). The waveguide retains still the LiNbO$_{3}$ phase and has the waveguiding characteristics similar to the conventional Ti:LiNbO$_{3}$ waveguide except with a larger loss due to the imperfection of waveguide. Secondary ion mass spectrometry study shows that the Er$^{3+}$ diffusion reservoir was exhausted and the profile is the desired Gaussian-type with a surface concentration 1.0 mol%, which is about two times larger than the value of conventional Ti:Er:LiNbO$_{3}$ amplifier. Further optical characterization shows that the waveguide shows stable 1547 nm small-signal gain under the 980 nm pumping without serious photorefractive effect observed. An unsaturated gain 1.7 dB/cm is obtained for the available coupled pump power of 160 mW. With increased pump power, optimized Er $^{3+}$ diffusion condition and degraded loss figure, a higher gain is expected.

© 2013 IEEE

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