Holmium-doped silica-based optical fibers belong to intensively studied materials for fiber laser sources operating around 2.1 μm. In this contribution, we deal with silica-based optical fibers doped with holmium and aluminum oxide. The fibers were prepared by the modified chemical vapor deposition method combined either with a solution doping or a nanoparticle doping. A large set of fibers with various dopant concentrations was characterized related to their fluorescence lifetime, laser threshold and slope efficiency. The best-performance fibers exhibited a fluorescence lifetime longer than 1 ms, a laser threshold under 200 mW and a slope efficiency around 80%. These characteristics are discussed regarding the doping method and dopant concentrations.
Optical fibers and optical fiber bundles are often used for endoscopy and related (minimally invasive) medical methods because they offer good transparency together with flexibility. The ability to perform the operation, monitoring and chemical analysis of tissues with minimal disruption of the skin or internal organs of the patient is very promising in the medical field. Traditionally, silica optical fibers are used. Although silicon oxide is a biocompatible material, its use involves a serious health risk due to its fragility and the fact that potential fiber fragments can freely move inside the body and they are not detectable by conventional methods such as X-ray imaging. A possible solution to this issue can be the development of optical fibers based on biodegradable materials. Important benefit of bioresorbable fibers is that they do not need to be explanted after their use. We report on the optical power transmission tests of recently developed bioresorbable optical fibers based on phosphate glasses. Continuous-wave fiber lasers at 1080 and 1060 nm with output powers up to 7 W and a picosecond laser source at 515 nm with MW pulse peak power were used.