Abstract

We demonstrated passively Q-switched mid-infrared (mid-IR) erbium-doped fiber lasers by using gold nanostars (GNSs) as the Q-switcher. The nonlinear optical responses of the GNSs synthesized via the seed-mediated method have been characterized via a Z-scan technique, and the modulation depth and saturation intensity of the GNSs are measured to be 25% and 15.75  kW/cm2, respectively. The Q-switched fiber laser can deliver a maximum average power of 454 mW with corresponding pulse energy of 3.6 μJ and pulse duration of 536 ns at a repetition rate of 125 kHz under the incident pump power 3.5 W. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first Letter that reports that the GNSs can act as a Q-switcher for the mid-IR erbium-doped ZBLAN fiber lasers. This Letter can deepen the understanding of the nonlinear optical behavior of the gold nanomaterials and may make inroads for the excellent mid-infrared optoelectronic devices.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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