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26 February 2013 All-glass optical fibers derived from sapphire
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Abstract
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); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.999361
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