We investigate evidence of the formation of nonbridging oxygen hole centers in pure silica photonic crystal fibers from 5 ps 1064 nm pulses. The formation of the defects is attributed to the breaking of stressed silicon–oxygen bonds in the glass matrix through a many-photon process. We compare the photodarkening induced by the 1064 nm pump with photodarkening induced by short wavelength light in a 1064 nm pumped supercontinuum extending to 400 nm. It is shown that the higher peak power at the pump wavelength makes it a more significant cause of photodarkening when compared to the shorter wavelength light generated in the fiber.
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