Abstract

An original architecture of an active fiber allowing a nearly diffraction-limited beam to be produced is demonstrated. The active medium is a double-clad large-mode-area photonic-bandgap fiber consisting of a 10,000ppm by weight Yb3+-doped core surrounded by an alternation of high- and low-index layers constituting a cylindrical photonic crystal. The periodic cladding allows the robust propagation of a 200μm2 fundamental mode and efficiently discriminates against the high-order modes. The M2 parameter was measured to be 1.17. A high-power cw laser was built exhibiting 80% slope efficiency above threshold. The robust propagation allows the fiber to be tightly bent. Weak incidence on the slope efficiency was observed with wounding radii as small as 6cm.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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