Abstract

We report the design and operation of a novel all-fiber bidirectional passively mode-locked ring laser. An erbium-doped fiber was chosen as the active element in a ring cavity arrangement. A short segment of a fiber taper embedded in carbon nanotubes/polymer composite, acting as a saturable absorber, was used to enable bidirectional mode locking. The laser generates two stable femtosecond pulse trains in opposite directions. A beat note of about 2MHz, having a bandwidth of less than 2kHz, is measured when the pulses propagating in opposite directions are (temporally) overlapped at a photodetector. We believe this device will find important applications in precision rotation sensing.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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