The Yb concentration of double-clad optical fiber amplifiers is numerically optimized with respect to maximizing the transverse modal instability threshold in the presence of absorption arising from photodarkening. The pump cladding area is scaled with the Yb concentration to approximately maintain the pump absorption in operation. It is found that approximate analytical expressions can predict the optimized concentration levels found in numerical simulations with sufficient accuracy to be useful in fiber design. (C) 2016 Optical Society of America
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