Abstract

Efficient repetitive passive Q switching of a cladding-pumped Er–Yb fiber laser has been demonstrated by use of an external-cavity configuration containing a Co2+:ZnS crystal as a saturable absorber. Energies of as much as 60 µJ in pulses of durations as short as 3.5 ns (FWHM), corresponding to a peak power of >10 kW, have been generated, and the maximum slope efficiency with respect to the absorbed pump power was 13%. Using a bulk diffraction grating in the Littrow configuration to provide wavelength-selective feedback, we tuned the passively Q-switched fiber laser over 31 nm from 1532 to 1563 nm. The prospects for further improvement in performance are discussed.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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