Abstract

Photobleaching of darkened thulium-doped ZBLAN fibers is observed after short exposure to visible light. The bleaching process is characterized by a stretched-exponential function of time with an exponent β independent of both the bleaching intensity and the thulium concentration. The bleaching rate 1/τ is also shown to scale linearly with the bleaching intensity and to have a 1/3-power dependence on the thulium concentration. Incomplete and slow recovery of the color centers is observed in previously bleached fibers, suggesting the presence of at least two types of defect.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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