Abstract

We report on >9W transverse-fundamental-mode CW output near 3μm from a 4m heavily erbium-doped ZBLAN double-clad fiber laser pumped by a collimated 100W 975nm laser diode array. The pump threshold of the fiber laser was about 1W, and the slope efficiency was 21.3%. The peak wavelength of free running was about 2708nm at low pump power and moved to around 2785nm at high pump power. Output of 9W was obtained when the launched pump power was 42.8W. The output, however, fluctuated intensively like a pulsed laser, and the operation broke down with optical damage of the pumping end facet when the pump was increased beyond 42.8W. Therefore, alleviation of the operation fluctuation, heat management, and strengthening the pumping fiber are crucial considerations for the stable operation of 10-W-level mid-IR ZBLAN fiber lasers.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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