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26 February 2013 All-glass optical fibers derived from sapphire
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Increasing power levels and novel applications are demanding from fibers performance capabilities that have, to date, not been realized. One such example arises from the nascent push towards the 10-kW power threshold for narrow linewidth fiber lasers designed for applications including coherently-phased laser arrays and spectroscopic lidars. It is well-known that Brillouin scattering still restricts continued power scaling in these systems, despite several recent advances in acoustic-wave Brillouin management. Accordingly, novel fibers possessing a Brillouin gain coefficient 10 dB or more less than previously demonstrated would be of great practical benefit if they comprise novel materials in simple geometries and are manufactured using industry-accepted methods. Introducing a new and effective approach to the management of Brillouin scattering, we present on all-glass optical fibers derived from silica-clad sapphire with alumina concentrations up to 55 mole percent; considerably greater than conventionally possible enabling the design of optical fiber possessing a series of essential properties. Markedly, a Brillouin gain coefficient of 3.1 × 10-13 m/W was measured for a fiber with an average alumina concentration of 54 mole percent. This value is nearly 100 times lower than standard commercial single-mode fiber and is likely the lowest ever specified value. This reduction in Brillouin gain is enabled by a number of key material properties of the alumina-silica system, amazingly even leading to a predicted, but not yet demonstrated, composition with zero Brillouin gain. Optical fiber materials with these and other crucial properties will be discussed in the context high energy fiber laser systems.
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Peter D. Dragic, Thomas Hawkins, Paul Foy, Stephanie Morris, and John Ballato "All-glass optical fibers derived from sapphire", Proc. SPIE 8601, Fiber Lasers X: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 86010I (26 February 2013);

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