Abstract

The beam-quality factor M2 for the fundamental LP01 mode of a step-index fiber is calculated in the presence of gain, in a closed form, as a function of the complex generalized V number. It is shown that the M2 value of a single-mode gain-guided fiber laser can be arbitrarily large. The results are important for the interpretation of the beam-quality measurements in recent experiments on single-mode gain-guided fiber lasers.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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