Abstract

We report a space radiation test performed on a semiconductor-type saturable absorber (SA) for its use in outer space as a key mode-locking component of fiber-based femtosecond pulse lasers. Gamma-ray effects on the nonlinear transmission behavior of the SA were evaluated by configuring a pump-probe experiment with femtosecond light pulses. Test results revealed that when the total ionizing dose of gamma-ray exposure reaches 120 krad, the SA encounters a sudden failure with its modulation depth and saturation fluence deteriorating from 11% to 6% and 40 to 110μJ/cm2, respectively. On the other hand, no notable degradation was observed in its temporal response of absorption recovery.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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