Fiber optical parametric oscillators (FOPOs) are coherent sources that can provide ultra-broadband tunability and high output power levels and are been considered for applications such as medical imaging and sensing. While most recent literature has focused on advancing the performance of these devices experimentally, theoretical studies are still scarce. In contrast, ordinary laser theory is very mature, has been thoroughly studied and is now well understood from the point of view of fundamental physics. In this work, we present a theoretical study of OPOs and in particular we theoretically discuss the process of gain saturation in optical parametric amplifiers. In order to emphasize the significant difference between the two coherent sources, we compare the optimized coupling ratios for maximum output powers of the ordinary laser and the optical parametric oscillator and demonstrate that in contrast to ordinary lasers, highest output powers in optical parametric oscillators are achieved with output coupling ratios close to 1. We confirm experimentally our theoretical studies by building a narrowband fiber optical parametric oscillator at 1450nm with multi-watt output power. We show that the device is robust to intracavity losses and achieve peak power as high as 2.4W.
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