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Micro-structured fibres for fibre lasers and amplifiers

Fibre-based lasers have been the subject of intensive research and development in the last decade: they can offer excellent efficiency and high single pass gain, efficient and rapid heat dissipation, immunity to thermo-optic effects and a diffraction-limited output beam with several kilowatts continuous wave power.

The development of short pulse high peak power fibre lasers however still has to cope with a number of issues. In such laser systems the power density in a relatively small core can reach extremely high levels and consequently nonlinear effects such as stimulated Raman scattering, stimulated Brillouin scattering and self-phase modulation limit efficient operation or simply prevent lasing. Furthermore catastrophic failure of the fibre will occur if the power density exceeds the material damage threshold.

A solution to these problems can be found by exploiting the unique wave guiding properties of micro-structured fibres (MSF) that allow exceeding the limits of conventional singlemode (SM) fibres. In a MSF the effective refractive index of the cladding modes can be tailored within a very broad range which allows achieving very low NA and hence designing and fabricating a SM MSF with an extremely large core. Furthermore micro-structured fibres with a novel design can provide very low bending loss, provided the bending orientation is properly chosen.

This research involves:

  1. modelling of the waveguiding characteristics, modal properties and bending behaviour of MSF;
  2. fabrication and experimental characterization of passive and active MSF;
  3. testing of these MSF when integrated in a fibre laser system.

This research builds on close collaboration with the Wroclaw University of Technology (Wroclaw, Poland), the University Marie-Curie Sklodowska (Lublin, Poland) and EOLITE (Bordeaux, France)

Research Area

Microstructured Optical Fibres

Main researcher(s)

Marek Napierala Marek Napierala
+32 2 629 18 13

Other people involved

Thomas Geernaert Thomas Geernaert
+32 2 629 13 81

Francis Berghmans Francis Berghmans
+32 2 629 39 26

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