Author Affiliations
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
2 Center for High Technology Materials, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106, USA
3 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
Recent advances in power scaling of fiber lasers are hindered by the thermal issues, which deteriorate the beam quality. Anti-Stokes fluorescence cooling has been suggested as a viable method to balance the heat generated by the quantum defect and background absorption. Such radiation-balanced configurations rely on the availability of cooling-grade rare-earth-doped gain materials. Herein, we perform a series of tests on an ytterbium-doped ZrF4BaF2LaF3AlF3NaF (ZBLAN) optical fiber to extract its laser-cooling-related parameters and show that it is a viable laser-cooling medium for radiation balancing. In particular, a detailed laser-induced modulation spectrum test is performed to highlight the transition of this fiber to the cooling regime as a function of the pump laser wavelength. Numerical simulations support the feasibility of a radiation-balanced laser, but they highlight that practical radiation-balanced designs are more demanding on the fiber material properties, especially on the background absorption, than solid-state laser-cooling experiments.
Photonics Research
2020, 8(2): 02000202

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