Spontaneous cascaded Raman amplification is demonstrated as a practical and efficient means of power transfer from telecommunications wavelengths to mid-IR wavelength bands through use of conventional silica fibers and amplifiers. We show that silica fibers possessing normal dispersion over all near-IR and mid-IR wavelengths can facilitate 37% and 16% efficient Raman power conversion from to 2.15 and wavelength bands, respectively, using nanosecond pulses from an all-fiber laser source. In contrast to supercontinuum-based techniques for long-wavelength generation, the high levels of Raman gain generated at these wavelength bands could produce useful optical amplification necessary for the development of numerous mid-IR laser sources.
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