Single-pass amplification using rod-type fibers has become a common route to pulsed laser sources around 1030 nm with high average and peak power. Average-power scaling is currently limited by the dynamic thermo-optic phenomenon of “transverse mode instability.” In comparison, double-pass amplifier configurations have not been extensively studied. Recent theoretical and experimental work has shown both static and dynamic mode degradation phenomena, including an unexpected nonlinear polarization rotation effect. Here we present new results obtained with a modified setup using polarization filtering between the first and the second pass. We obtain up to 113 W output power, i.e., more than 40 dB of amplification from a single amplifier module seeded by 10 mW of 20 ps/20 MHz/1030 nm pulses. We observe excellent beam quality and polarization extinction ratio. Finally, we investigate a wide range of seed powers and report a strong increase in the static mode deformation threshold with decreasing seed power. The experimental results are corroborated by numerical simulations.
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