A new technique for combining low-power laser beams has been demonstrated by use of semiconductor diode lasers. The technique, which is appropriate for any single-longitudinal-mode laser, is based on stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) in long multimode optical fibers. It produces a clean Gaussian-like beam that corresponds to the fundamental fiber mode, irrespective of the profile of the pump. Coherent as well as incoherent combining was demonstrated, and conversion slope efficiencies as high as 67% and 83% were shown to be achievable for the single-pass and ring-cavity SBS geometries, respectively.
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