Femtosecond Fiber Lasers

Description
Title: Femtosecond Fiber Lasers
Authors: Bock, Katherine J.
Date: 2012
Abstract: This thesis focuses on research I have done on ytterbium-doped femtosecond fiber lasers. These lasers operate in the near infrared region, lasing at 1030 nm. This wavelength is particularly important in biomedical applications, which includes but is not limited to confocal microscopy and ablation for surgical incisions. Furthermore, fiber lasers are advantageous compared to solid state lasers in terms of their cost, form factor, and ease of use. Solid state lasers still dominate the market due to their comparatively high energy pulses. High energy pulse generation in fiber lasers is hindered by either optical wave breaking or by multipulsing. One of the main challenges for fiber lasers is to overcome these limitations to achieve high energy pulses. The motivation for the work done in this thesis is increasing the output pulse peak power and energy. The main idea of the work is that decreasing the nonlinearity that acts on the pulse inside the cavity will prevent optical wave breaking, and thus will generate higher energy pulses. By increasing the output energy, ytterbium-doped femtosecond fiber lasers can be competitive with solid state lasers which are used commonly in research. Although fiber lasers tend to lack the wavelength tuning ability of solid state lasers, many biomedical applications take advantage of the 1030 µm central wavelength of ytterbium-doped fiber lasers, so the major limiting factor of fiber lasers in this field is simply the output power. By increasing the output energy without resorting to external amplification, the cavity is optimized and cost can remain low and economical. During verification of the main idea, the cavity was examined for possible back-reflections and for components with narrow spectral bandwidths which may have contributed to the presence of multipulsing. Distinct cases of multipulsing, bound pulse and harmonic mode-locking, were observed and recorded as they may be of more interest in the future. The third-order dispersion contribution from the diffraction gratings inside the laser cavity was studied, as it was also considered to be an energy-limiting factor. No significant effect was found as a result of third-order dispersion; however, a region of operation was observed where two different pulse regimes were found at the same values of net cavity group velocity dispersion. Results verify the main idea and indicate that a long length of low-doped gain fiber is preferable to a shorter, more highly doped one. The low-doped fiber in an otherwise equivalent cavity allows the nonlinear phase shift to grow at a slower rate, which results in the pulse achieving a higher peak power before reaching the nonlinear phase shift threshold at which optical wave breaking occurs. For a range of net cavity group velocity dispersion values, the final result is that the low doped fiber generates pulses of approximately twice the value of energy of the highly-doped gain fiber. Two techniques of mode-locking cavities were investigated to achieve this result. The first cavity used NPE mode-locking which masked the results, and the second used a SESAM for mode-locking which gave clear results supporting the hypothesis.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23391
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6123
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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