The dynamical behavior of cw-pumped Raman fiber lasers is studied experimentally. Lasers made of standard single-mode fibers are found to present unstable behaviors depending on the states of polarization of the Stokes and pump fields. On the contrary, lasers made of polarization-maintaining fibers are found to be always stable. The observed behaviors suggest that birefringence- and Kerr-induced changes in polarization states dramatically affect Raman fiber lasers dynamics.
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