Abstract

We report on the development of hollow-core photonic bandgap fibers for the delivery of high energy pulses for precision micro-machining applications. Short pulses of (65ns pulse width) and energies of the order of 0.37mJ have been delivered in a single spatial mode through hollow-core photonic bandgap fibers at 1064nm using a high repetition rate (15kHz) Nd:YAG laser. The ultimate laser-induced damage threshold and practical limitations of current hollow-core fibers for the delivery of short optical pulses are discussed.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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Appl. Opt. (2)

IEE Proceedings-J (1)

D. Su, A.A.B. Boechat and J.D.C. Jones, �??Optimum beam launching conditions for graded index optical fibres: theory and practice,�?? IEE Proceedings-J, 140, 221-226 (1993)

Opt. Express (3)

Opt. Lasers Eng. (1)

A. Kuhn, I.J. Blewett, D.P. Hand, P. French, M. Richmond, and J.D.C. Jones, �??Optical fibre beam delivery of high-energy laser pulses: beam quality preservation and fibre end-preparation,�?? Opt. Lasers Eng. 34, 273-288 (2000)
[CrossRef]

Proc. SPIE (1)

F. Rainer, L. J. Atherton, J. H. Campbell, F. D. DeMarco, M. R. Kozolowski, A. J. Morgan, and M. C. Staggs, �??Four-harmonic database of laser-damage testing,�?? Proc. SPIE 1624 116 (1992)
[CrossRef]

Science (2)

D. G. Ouzounov, F. R. Ahmad, D. Muller, N. Venkataraman, M. T. Gallagher M. G. Thomas, J. Silcox, K. W. Koch and A. L. Gaeta1 �??Generation of Megawatt Optical Solitons in Hollow-Core Photonic Band-Gap Fibers,�?? Science 301, 1702-1704 (2003)
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R.F. Cregan, B.J. Mangan, J.C. Knight, T.A. Birks, P.S. Russell, P.J. Roberts, and D.C. Allan �??Single-mode photonic bandgap guidance of light in air,�?? Science 285, 1537-1539 (1999)
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Other (1)

T.J. Stephens, �??Fibre-optic Delivery of High Peak Power Laser Pulses for Flow Measurement,�?? PhD Thesis, Heriot-Watt University, UK (2003)

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Scanning electron micrograph image of hollow-core photonic bandgap fiber designed for use at 1064nm wavelength.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Attenuation in the hollow-core PBG fiber. The minimum attenuation is around 60dB/km, and the fiber guides over a band of roughly 180nm width. The inset shows the low-loss region in greater detail.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Optical micrograph showing damage to hollow-core fiber. The PBG cladding structure is completely ablated by 450µJ pulses, guidelines represent 50µm spacing.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Temporal pulse profile delivered from Q-switched Nd:YAG at 1064nm and repetition rate of 15kHz

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Near-field (left, recorded with a low-power cw source) and false-color far field image (recorded using ns pulses) at 1064nm after transmission through 20m (left) and 1m (right) of PBG fiber. Excellent beam quality is observed in both cases.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Optical micrographs of fiber endfaces before (left) and after (right) pulse delivery. No noticeable change in the pulse delivery was observed.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Environmental scanning electron micrographs of fiber end-faces freshly-cleaved (left) and after being used for pulse delivery (right).

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