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5 March 2021 Backward transverse mode instability?
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We report on the observation and experimental characterization of backward power fluctuations with the temporal characteristics of transverse mode instability (TMI). A quasi-monolithic, counter-pumped amplifier system in 20/400 μm geometry was developed to investigate forward and backward propagating core- and cladding power as well as their temporal evolution. By experimentally observing the backward propagating core power on a photodiode, we can correlate the temporal traces to those in forward direction. The degree of correlation is found to be highly increased above the TMI threshold. Simultaneous investigations on the modal content in forward and backward direction were enabled by a free-space optical coupling between the first and second amplification stage and performed utilizing a high-speed camera (HSC). In the case of TMI mode content fluctuations are found to occur only in forward direction. Additionally, the evaluations reveal a varying core power content in both directions. The forward core power fluctuations are shown to be induced by the partial coupling of higher-order mode (HOM) content to the cladding. Meanwhile the backward core power fluctuations appear to be a consequence of the ones in forward direction induced by backreflections. Our measurements demonstrate the detection of TMI at various amplifier positions and could be helpful for scientific as well as industrial applications.
Conference Presentation
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Friedrich Möller, Victor Distler, Maximilian Strecker, Till Walbaum, and Thomas Schreiber "Backward transverse mode instability?", Proc. SPIE 11665, Fiber Lasers XVIII: Technology and Systems, 116650X (5 March 2021);

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