Abstract

We propose and demonstrate 1, 1.5, and 2 μm passively Q-switched fiber lasers by exploiting a few-layer Molybdenum sulfide (MoS2) polymer composite as broadband saturable absorber (SA), respectively. The few-layer MoS2 nanosheets are prepared by the liquid-phase exfoliation method, and are composited with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The PVA-MoS2 film is sandwiched between two fiber ferrules to form the fiber-compatible SA. The few-layer MoS2 not only shows good transparency from ultraviolet to mid-infrared spectral region, but also possesses the nonlinear saturable absorption. The modulation depth and saturation optical intensity of the PVA-MoS2 film are measured to be 1.6% and 13 MW/cm2 at 1566 nm by the balanced twin-detector technique, respectively. By further inserting the filmy PVA-MoS2 SA into the cavities of Yb-, Er- and Tm-doped fiber lasers, we achieve stable Q-switching operations at 1.06, 1.56, and 2.03 μm, respectively. The output characteristics of the Q-switched pulses at the three wavelengths have been investigated, respectively. The MoS2-based Q-switching enables the large pulse energy of ∼1 μJ with a pulse width of 1.76 μs. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of MoS2-based Q-switched fiber lasers in a wide wavelength range (from 1 to 2 μm). Our results experimentally confirm that the new-type 2-D material, few-layer MoS2, is a promising broadband SA to Q-switch fiber lasers covering all major wavelengths from near- to mid-infrared region.

© 2014 IEEE

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