We introduce the concept of directly exciting the lower level of a laser transition in addition to the upper laser level for the provision of new possibilities for light emission from a fiber. In a first demonstration, using diode laser light at 1150 and 1950 nm, we respectively excite the upper and lower laser level of the transition (2.9 μm) of -doped ZBLAN, demonstrating a power-scalable arrangement that can switch between free-running and superluminescent spectral output. The spectral composition of the gain-switched pulse derived from modulating the upper laser level pump light depends entirely on the degree of lower laser level excitation at 1950 nm.
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