High-power operation of fiber lasers was enabled by the invention of cladding-pumping in a double-clad fiber structure. Because of existence of so called skew rays in the inner clad of the fiber, pump absorption saturates along the fiber and pumping becomes inefficient. First studies of pump absorption efficiency enhancement were focused on fibers with broken circular symmetry of inner cladding eliminating skew rays [1,2]. Later, techniques of unconventional fiber coiling were proposed . However, theoretical studies were limited to the assumption of a straight fiber. Even recently, the rigorous model accounting for fiber bending and twisting was described [4-6]. It was found that bending of the fiber influences modal spectra of the pump radiation and twisting provides quite efficient mode-scrambling. These effects in a synergic manner significantly enhances pump absorption rate in double clad fibers and improves laser system efficiency.
In our contribution we review results of numerical modelling of pump absorption in various types of double-clad fibers, e.g., with cross section shape of hexagon, stadium, and circle; two-fiber bundle (so-called GTWave fiber structure) a panda fibers are also analyzed. We investigate pump field modal spectra evolution in hexagonally shaped fiber in straight, bended, and simultaneously bended and twisted fiber which brings new quality to understanding of the mode-scrambling and pump absorption enhancement. Finally, we evaluate the impact of enhanced pump absorption on signal gain in the fiber.
These results can have practical impact in construction of fiber lasers: with pump absorption efficiency optimized by our new model (the other models did not take into account fiber twist), the double-clad fiber of shorter length can be used in the fiber lasers and amplifiers. In such a way the harmful influence of background losses and nonlinear effects can be minimized.
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