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23 February 2006 High-power photonic crystal fibers
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Fiber lasers deliver excellent beam-quality and high efficiency in a robust and largely maintenance-free format, and are now able to do so with output powers in the kilowatt regime. Consequently, fiber lasers have become an attractive alternative to solid-state and gas lasers for e.g. material processing like welding, cutting and marking. The all-glass air-clad photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) combine large mode-field diameters (currently up to 40 μm), high numerical aperture (typically in the 0.6-0.65 range), high pump absorption (30 dB/m demonstrated in ytterbium) and excellent high-power handling (kW CW and mJ pulses demonstrated). These properties have made this fiber type one of the most promising candidates for the future high-power fiber laser and amplifier systems that are expected to replace many of the traditional systems in use today. To utilize the high numerical aperture and large mode-field diameters of the air-clad PCFs, special care must be taken in the system integration. In this paper, we will show examples of how these fibers can be integrated in laser and amplifier sub-assemblies with standard fiber pump-interfaces for use with single-emitter diodes or diode-bar pump sources. Moreover, we report on the most recent advances in fiber design including rod-type fibers and broadband polarizing ytterbium-doped large-mode-area air-clad fibers. Finally, we will review the latest results on PCF-based amplifier and laser configurations with special focus on high-power CW systems and high-energy pulsed configurations.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kim P. Hansen, Jes Broeng, Anders Petersson, Martin D. Nielsen, Peter M. W. Skovgaard, Christian Jakobsen, and Harald R. Simonsen "High-power photonic crystal fibers", Proc. SPIE 6102, Fiber Lasers III: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 61020B (23 February 2006);


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