Abstract

Based on theoretical analysis and numerical simulation, the mechanism of self-pulsing operation of 2-μm Tm3+-doped fiber lasers is explored. A simplified rate-equation model is proposed to analyze stable operation of Tm3+-doped fiber lasers. It is shown that the continuous-wave (CW) solution does not exist for certain pump intensities when excited-state absorption (ESA) is included. In numerical simulation, four energy-transfer processes are calculated to identify the origin of self-pulsing in Tm3+-doped fiber lasers. The phonon-assisted ESA process H53H43 is identified as the key factor for self-pulsing in Tm3+-doped fiber lasers, which confirms the absence of a CW solution in the theoretical analysis. The numerical simulation gives out a regular pulse train, whose characteristics are in excellent agreement with the experimental results. The impacts of ESA cross section and pump intensity on the self-pulsing characteristics are also investigated.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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