Abstract

A novel short-wave infrared (SWIR) all-fiber thulium-assisted optical parametric oscillator (TAOPO) that exploits jointly optical parametric conversion and thulium amplification in a highly nonlinear fiber (HNLF) and thulium-doped fiber (TDF) is demonstrated. This is implemented through constructing a joint fiber line by directly fusion splicing 50 m HNLF with 1.5 m TDF. Incorporating a bidirectional-pumping scheme, i.e., forward-pumped by a step-tuned C-band pulsed laser, and simultaneously backward-pumped by an L-band continuous-wave laser, this TAOPO produces a pulsed SWIR laser at output power higher than 200 mW, signal-to-noise ratio over 40 dB, and wavelength tuning range beyond 150 nm from 1815 to 1968 nm. Via separate characterization of the HNLF and TDF joint fiber line, the tunability of the current TAOPO to shorter wavelength is only limited by the employed fiber components, while higher power could be realized by increasing the backward pump power. This TAOPO could be a promising platform for the generation of a highly functional SWIR source that facilitates applications such as bond-selective imaging of deep tissue.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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