We report on the thermal treatment of photodarkened Yb-doped fiber samples. The method of non-isothermal bleaching at different temperature ramp rates can be used to determine the thermal energy distribution of photodarkening induced color centers. A distributed activation energy with a mean value of about 1.3 eV and a FWHM of 0.5 eV was found. Spectral changes during thermal treatment were observed and could be interpreted, e.g. as an enhancement of the absorption cross section.
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