The analysis of TMI has advanced over the last decade, with added observation parameters depending on the complexity of the experimental system. Increasing levels of information have been extracted, from camera images in the beginning over modal decomposition, time trace and frequency analysis, on towards bi directional measurements at multiple system positions and separation of spectral components. We will give an overview of the evolution of TMI analysis for different model systems and discuss the applicability and the additional insight that can be gained from advanced observation methods.
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.
Nonlinear effects and transverse mode instabilities (TMI) limit power scaling of single-mode fiber lasers. To overcome these limitations not only the fiber design but also laser relevant properties of the actively doped material itself need to be optimized. By being able to fabricate Yb-doped fibers for high power applications in-house, we have direct access to laser relevant material parameters.We fabricated fibers using three different co-doping systems, namely Yb:Al:P, Yb:Al:F, and Yb:Al:F:Ce. Afterwards we characterized and compared their laser relevant properties. All three co-doping systems showed nearly identical background losses and absorption cross-sections. In contrast, we found that the PD losses and the factor between PD losses @633nm and the laser wavelength range (1μm) to be significantly different. The retrieved characterization results were implemented into our simulations tool in order to improve the reliability of predictions. Finally, we characterized the fibers in kW-amplifier setups according to their power scaling limits, especially the TMI threshold. This cycle of fiber fabrication, characterization, and simulation enabled us to identify the impact of individual fiber parameters on the TMI threshold. We demonstrated that the impact of PD loss leads to a reductions of the TMI threshold for Yb:Al:F co-doping system of 13% to 23% (depending on the Yb-concentration). The PD loss for the two other systems was proved to be significantly lower and was found to have no impact on the TMI threshold. We experimentally proved that your in-house Yb:Al:P and Yb:Al:F:Ce fibers performed like PD-free fibers.
Supported by both experimental and simulated results, this contribution demonstrates the heat load distribution in a co-pumped, ytterbium (Yb)-doped fiber amplifier seeded with two different wavelengths can be significantly changed depending on the seed power ratio. Longitudinal temperature measurements in a Yb-doped 10.5 m 20/400 μm fiber confirm a significant shift of the heat load maximum by 3.5 m towards the fiber output when decreasing the seed power ratio from P1030nm/P1080nm = 1.7 to 20. In single-tone operation with a seed power of P1080nm = 3.5 W, the amplifier is limited by the onset of transverse mode instabilities at a power-level of 1950 W. However, dual-tone seeding with a seed power ratio up to P1030nm/P1080nm = 10 reduces the TMI-threshold dramatically down to 1050 W. Additionally we show, that the modal instability threshold is very susceptible to 1030 nm seed noise in the frequency regime up to 10 kHz.
We investigated the limitations in output power generated by a high power narrow-linewidth Raman fiber amplifier. The pump was produced by a kW-level all-fiber Yb-doped amplifier emitting at 1060 nm, whose seed linewidth could be changed. The Raman seed was a narrow-linewidth signal at 1110 nm co-propagating with the laser at 1060 nm. The main Raman conversion occurred in the passive fiber at the amplifier output. We identified cross-phase modulation (XPM) as a main reason for broadening of the Raman light by using different pump sources, which is a first limitation. An improved setup was limited at approximately 600 W of Stokes output power by a threshold-like onset of a transverse mode instability. Since the instability was not observed without a Stokes seed and the temperatures of the active fiber with and without Stokes seed are equal, this constitutes the first direct observation of transverse mode instabilities (TMI) induced by SRS in a passive fiber.
The average output power of fiber lasers have been scaled deep into the kW regime within the recent years. However a further scaling is limited due to nonlinear effects like stimulated Raman scattering (SRS). Using the special characteristics of femtosecond laser pulse written transmission fiber gratings, it is possible to realize a notch filter that mitigates efficiently this negative effect by coupling the Raman wavelength from the core into the cladding of the fiber. To the best of our knowledge, we realized for the first time highly efficient gratings in large mode area (LMA) fibers with cladding diameters up to 400 μm. The resonances show strong attenuation at design wavelength and simultaneously low out of band losses. A high power fiber amplifier with an implemented passive fiber grating is shown and its performance is carefully investigated.
We present investigations on the seed source dependence of stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) created in a high power fiber amplifier. It is shown that fiber oscillators are much worse in terms of SRS than other seed sources. The longitudinal mode composition was found to be of less importance. We reinforce the experimental observations by a numerical investigation, which shows that temporal power variations on the ps-scale and their propagation along the fiber are crucial for the SRS creation in high-power fiber systems, extending the well-known but simplified SRS threshold description.