Abstract

Thermal effects, which limit the average power, can be minimized by using low-doped, longer gain fibers, whereas the presence of nonlinear effects requires use of high-doped, shorter fibers to maximize the peak power. We propose the use of varying doping levels along the gain fiber to circumvent these opposing requirements. By analogy to dispersion management and nonlinearity management, we refer to this scheme as doping management. As a practical first implementation, we report on the development of a fiber laser-amplifier system, the last stage of which has a hybrid gain fiber composed of high-doped and low-doped Yb fibers. The amplifier generates 100 W at 100 MHz with pulse energy of 1 μJ. The seed source is a passively mode-locked fiber oscillator operating in the all-normal-dispersion regime. The amplifier comprises three stages, which are all-fiber-integrated, delivering 13 ps pulses at full power. By optionally placing a grating compressor after the first stage amplifier, chirp of the seed pulses can be controlled, which allows an extra degree of freedom in the interplay between dispersion and self-phase modulation. This way, the laser delivers 4.5 ps pulses with 200kW peak power directly from fiber, without using external pulse compression.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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