Abstract

Systematic experimental investigations toward the mode instability (MI) threshold in low-NA fibers are performed. By testing several fibers with varying V-parameters drawn from the same preform, a high degree of reproducibility of the experimental conditions could be achieved. This allows for systematic investigations on isolated parameters influencing the complex behavior of MI. A maximum MI threshold of 2 kW could be demonstrated for the tested fibers, which represents a new record output power for narrow linewidth fiber amplifiers. The MI threshold was found to sensitively depend on the V-parameter for large V-parameters (>2), but to be robust for smaller V-parameters. Furthermore, the fiber bending diameter and the seed excitation conditions were identified to sensitively influence the MI threshold.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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