Thulium- and holmium-doped fiber lasers (TDF and HDF) emitting at 2 micron offer unique benefits and applications compared to common ytterbium-doped 1 micron lasers. This dissertation details the concepts, limitations, design, and performance of four 2 micron fiber laser systems. While these lasers were developed for various end-uses, they also provide further insight into two major power scaling limitations. The first limitation is optical nonlinearities: specifically stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) and modulation instability (MI). The second limitation is thermal failure due to inefficient pump conversion. First, a 21.5 W single-frequency, single-mode laser with adjustable output from continuous-wave to nanosecond pulses is developed. Measuring the SBS threshold versus pulse duration enables the Brillouin gain coefficient and gain bandwidth to be determined at 2 micron. Second, a 23 W spectrally-broadband, nanosecond pulsed laser is constructed for materials processing applications. The temporally incoherent multi-kW peak power pulses can also efficiently produce MI and supercontinuum generation by adjusting the input spectral linewidth. Third, the measured performance of in-band pumped TDF and HDF lasers are compared with simulations. HDF displays low efficiencies, which is explained by including ion clustering in the simulations. The TDF operates with impressive >90% slope efficiencies. Based on this result, a system design for >1 kW average power TDF amplifier is described. The designed final amplifier will be in-band pumped to enable high efficiency and low thermal load. The amplifier efficiency, operating bandwidth, thermal load, and nonlinear limits are modeled and analyzed to provide a framework for execution. Overall, this dissertation provides further insight and understanding on the various processes that limit power scaling of 2 micron fiber lasers.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Sincore, Alex, "2 Micron Fiber Lasers: Power Scaling Concepts and Limitations" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 6263.