Abstract

We report what we believe is the first demonstration of laser emission at 2.94μm in an erbium-doped fluoride fiber laser. The low-loss all-fiber Fabry–Perot laser cavity was formed by two fiber Bragg gratings of 90% and 15% reflectivities in a 6.6m, 7mol.% Er-doped double-clad fiber. A maximum cw output power of 5.2W was measured, which is to our knowledge the highest reported to date for a diode-pumped laser at this wavelength. A coreless endcap was fused at the output fiber end to prevent its deterioration at high output powers. Our results, including the slope efficiency of 26.6% with respect to launched pump power, suggest that erbium could be a better alternative than holmium in the search for a replacement for the flashlamp-pumped Er:YAG at 2.94μm.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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