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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

High Intensity Mirror-Free Nanosecond Ytterbium Fiber Laser System in Master Oscillator Power Amplification
by Chun-Lin, Louis Chang, Ph.D., National Taiwan University (Taiwan), 2013, 277; 3583082
Abstract (Summary)

Rare-earth-doped fiber lasers and amplifiers are relatively easy to efficiently produce a stable and high quality laser beam in a compact, robust, and alignment-free configuration. Recently, high power fiber laser systems have facilitated wide spread applications in academics, industries, and militaries in replacement of bulk solid-state laser systems. The master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) composed of a highly-controlled seed, high-gain preamplifiers, and high-efficiency power amplifiers are typically utilized to scale up the pulse energy, peak power, or average power. Furthermore, a direct-current-modulated nanosecond diode laser in single transverse mode can simply provide a compact and highly-controlled seed to result in the flexible output parameters, such as repetition rate, pulse duration, and even temporal pulse shape. However, when scaling up the peak power for high intensity applications, such a versatile diode-seeded nanosecond MOPA laser system using rare-earth-doped fibers is unable to completely save its own advantages compared to bulk laser systems. Without a strong seeding among the amplifiers, the guided amplified spontaneous amplification is easy to become dominant during the amplification, leading to the harmful self-lasing or pulsing effects, and the difficulty of the quantitative numerical comparison. In this dissertation, we study a high-efficiency and intense nanosecond ytterbium fiber MOPA system with good beam quality and stability for high intensity applications. The all-PM-fiber structure is achieved with the output extinction ratio of >12 dB by optimizing the interconnection of high power optical fibers.

The diode-seeded MOPA configuration without parasitic stimulated amplification (PAS) is implemented using the double-pass scheme to extract energy efficiently for scaling peak power. The broadband PAS was studied experimentally, which matches well with our numerical simulation. The 1064-nm nanosecond seed was a direct-current-modulated Fabry-Pérot diode laser associated with a weak and pulsed noise spanning from 1045 to 1063 nm. Even though the contribution of input noise pulse is only <5%, it becomes a significant transient spike during amplification. The blue-shifted pulsed noise may be caused by band filling effect for quantum-well seed laser driven by high peak current. The study helps the development of adaptive pulse shaping for scaling peak power or energy at high efficiency. On the other hand, the broadband spike with a 3-dB bandwidth of 8.8 nm can support pulses to seed the amplifier for sub-nanosecond giant pulse generation.

Because of the very weak seed laser, the design of high-gain preamplifier becomes critical. The utilization of single-mode core-pumped fiber preamplifier can not only improve the mode contrast without fiber coiling effect but also significantly suppress the fiber nonlinearity. The double-pass scheme was therefore studied both numerically and experimentally to improve energy extraction efficiency for the lack of attainable seed and core-pumped power. As a result, a record-high peak power of > 30 kW and energy of > 0.23 mJ was successfully achieved to the best of our knowledge from the output of clad-pumped power amplifier with a beam quality of M2 ∼1.1 in a diode-seeded 15-µm-core fiber MOPA system. After the power amplifier, the MOPA conversion efficiency can be dramatically improved to >56% for an energy gain of >63 dB at a moderate repetition rate of 20 kHz with a beam quality of M 2 <1.5. The output energy of >1.1 mJ with a pulse duration of ∼6.1 ns can result in a peak power up to >116 kW which is limited by fiber fuse in long-term operation. Such a condition able to generate the on-target laser intensity of > 60 GW/cm2 for applications is qualified to preliminarily create a laser-plasma light source. Moreover, the related simulation results also reveal the double-passed power amplifier can further simplify MOPA.

Such an intense clad-pumped power amplifier can further become a nonlinear fiber amplifier in all-normal dispersion instead of a nonlinear passive fiber. The combination of laser amplification and nonlinear conversion together can therefore overcome the significant pump depletion during the propagation along the passive fiber for power scaling. As a result, an intense spectrum spanning from 980 to 1600 nm as a high-power nanosecond supercontinuum source can be successfully generated with a conversion efficiency of >65% and a record-high peak power of >116 kW to the best of our knowledge. Because of MOPA structure, the influence of input parameters of nonlinear fiber amplifier on supercontinuum parameters can also be studied. The onset and interplay of fiber nonlinearities can be revealed stage by stage. Such an unique and linearly-polarized light source composed of an intense pump and broad sideband seed is beneficial for efficiently driving the broadband tunable optical parametric amplification free from the bulkiness and timing jitter.

Keywords: High power fiber laser and amplifier, ytterbium fiber, master oscillator power amplification, parasitic stimulated amplification, multi-pass fiber amplification, peak power/pulse energy scaling, fiber nonlinear optics, supercontinuum generation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Huang, Sheng-Lung
Commitee: Chen, Chin-Hung, Chen, Nan-Kuang, Chu, Shi-Wei, Huang, Ding-Wei, Lin, Ja-Hon, Lin, Jui-Teng
School: National Taiwan University (Taiwan)
Department: Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
School Location: Taiwan, Republic of China
Source: DAI-B 75/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Quantum physics, Optics, Plasma physics
Keywords: Extreme ultraviolet, Fiber nonlinear optics, High power fiber laser and amplifier, Master oscillator power amplification, Multi-pass fiber amplification, Parasitic stimulated amplification, Peak power/pulse energy scaling, Supercontinuum generation, Ytterbium fiber
Publication Number: 3583082
ISBN: 978-1-321-08900-4
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