We investigate the performance of a hybrid Q-switched (HQS) fiber laser that is constructed with a low RF-power driven acousto-optic (AO) Q-switch and an AlGaInAs semiconductor saturable absorber. Compared to a pure passively Q-switched (PQS) fiber laser, the ratio of timing jitter to pulse period can be significantly reduced from 2% to 0.3% in the regime of far above threshold. On the other hand, the prelasing effect in a pure actively Q-switched fiber laser can be considerably improved. More importantly, the maximum pulse energy of the HQS fiber laser can be increased approximately 25% in comparison with the result of the PQS fiber laser. At a pump power of 24 W, the highest pulse energy is up to 0.56 mJ with the pulse duration of 50 ns at the repetition rate of 23 kHz.
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