Tunable, Infrared Fibre Lasers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Optoelectronics Research Centre


.There is space available in the plastics processing industry for a laser source with widely tunable absorption in plastics. There is an absorption peak around 1700nm due to vibronic C-H excitation, however a lack of high power sources in this region means that processing applications have gone largely unexplored.

My project aims to develop a high power, tunable source centred around this region of interest. The chosen route for this is by in-band pumping of Thulium-doped fibre using an Erbium-doped fibre laser. The Erbium-doped fibre laser has shown excellent power scaling up to 40W at 1580nm with no sign of roll-off and sufficient beam quality for core pumping of the Thulium-doped fibre laser. Using this I aim to achieve record output power in the 1700nm region (>12.5W) and with further power scaling reach a target of 100W of tunable output.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2021
1921199 Studentship EP/N509747/1 05/09/2016 29/02/2020 Mark Burns
Description The primary focus of this work was to explore the performance limitations of single-mode erbium fibre lasers NOT co-doped with ytterbium (erbium-only doped fibre lasers herein). The motivation behind this study was to also explore the performance possibilities of thulium-doped fibre, operating around 1700 nm, when pumped by an erbium-only doped fibre laser.

Using a relatively simple setup, greater than 100 W output power from a single-mode erbium-only oscillator at 1580 nm was reached, enabling a further 47 W of output power at 1726 nm from the thulium-doped fibre laser. Our demonstration of 100 W from a single-mode erbium-only doped fibre laser is significantly greater than the 75 W previously reported in a more difficult to fabricate fibre design. Additionally, the result of 47 W at 1726 nm is almost 4 times larger than that previously recorded (12.7 W).
Exploitation Route There is room for further power scaling of both the erbium and thulium fibre lasers. Additionally, there are applications of both systems that have not been explored, such as plastics processing and mid-IR generation by pumping Dy:Fluoride.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology

URL https://www.osapublishing.org/ol/abstract.cfm?URI=ol-44-21-5230