Abstract

Strong enhancement of optoacoustic interactions in the micrometer-sized core of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) enables stable, harmonic mode locking of a soliton fiber laser at GHz frequencies. Here we report that by tapering the PCF during the draw, the optoacoustic gain bandwidth can be broadened to 47MHz, more than 3 times wider than in the untapered fiber. This made possible broad pulse-repetition-rate tuning over 66 MHz (from 2.042 to 2.108 GHz) of an optoacoustically mode-locked soliton fiber laser. Within this tuning range, the harmonically mode-locked pulse trains at the laser output were observed to be quite robust, with better than 40 dB supermode suppression ratio, sub-ps pulse timing jitter, and <0.2%relative intensity noise. This gigahertz-rate, near-infrared soliton fiber laser has remarkable pulse-rate tunability and low noise level, and has important potential applications in frequency metrology, high-speed optical sampling, and fiber telecommunications.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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