High-power fiber lasers and amplifiers have gained tremendous momentum in the last 5 years. Many of the traditional manufacturers of gas and solid-state lasers are now pursuing the fiber-based systems, which are displacing the conventional technology in many areas. High-power fiber laser systems require reliable fibers with large cores, stable mode quality, and good power handling capabilities-requirements that are all met by the airclad fiber technology. In the present paper we go through many of the building blocks needed to build high-power systems and we show an example of a complete airclad laser system. We present the latest advancements within airclad fiber technology including a new 100 m single-mode polarization-maintaining rod-type fiber capable of amplifying to megawatt power levels. Furthermore, we describe the novel airclad-based pump combiners and their use in a completely monolithic 350 W cw fiber laser system with an M2 of less than 1.1. © 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Copyright 2011 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.
- High-power fiber lasers
- Airclad fibers
- Photonic crystal fibers