The development of high-power cw fiber lasers has triggered a great interest in the phenomena of nonlinear pump spectral broadening and cw supercontinuum generation. These effects have very convenient applications in Raman amplification, optical fiber metrology, and fiber sensing. In particular, it was recently shown that pump incoherence has a strong impact in these processes. We study experimentally the effect of pump incoherence in nonlinear pump spectral broadening and cw supercontinuum generation in optical fibers. We show that under certain experimental conditions an optimum degree of pump incoherence yields the best performance in the broadening process. We qualitatively explain these results, and we point out that these results may have important implications in cw supercontinuum optimization.
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