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Proceedings Paper

Modeling the photodegradation of large mode area Yb-doped fiber power amplifiers
Author(s): Pierre Laperle; Louis Desbiens; Karine Le Foulgoc; Mathieu Drolet; Pascal Deladurantaye; Antoine Proulx; Yves Taillon
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Paper Abstract

Photodarkening is presently a major concern for the long term reliability and efficiency of high power Yb-doped fiber lasers and amplifiers. This phenomenon has been associated with the formation of color centers in the fiber core of single-clad and large mode area Yb-doped fibers. However, its origin is still not well understood and to date no comprehensive model that could predict the lifetime of Yb-doped fiber-based devices has been put forward. A semi-empirical approach seems at the moment the best way to gain a better understanding of the growth behavior of photo-induced losses in Yb-doped fibers in the presence of both photodarkening and photobleaching processes. A rate equation describing the activation and deactivation of color centers involving stretched exponential functions has been developed. For this approach to be effective and reliable, a minimum of parameters is used, four to describe photodarkening and three for photobleaching. A large mode area Yb-doped fiber fabricated at INO using the MCVD process has been characterized. By properly choosing the initial pumping conditions, each parameter of the stretched exponential functions has been measured separately from the others. The model has then been used to simulate the power decay from a 1 kW, 10 ns-pulse, 100 kHz Yd-doped LMA fiber power amplifier. We show that the photodarkening behavior predicted by the model is in good agreement with the experimental results over more than 6000 hours. Such a model is general in its application but the stretched exponential parameters are unique to the type of fiber tested. The model will be a useful characterization tool for developing photodarkening-resistant fibers and for evaluating the lifetime of Yb-doped fiber-based devices affected by photodegradation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 February 2009
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7195, Fiber Lasers VI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 71952C (19 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.808189
Show Author Affiliations
Pierre Laperle, INO (Canada)
Louis Desbiens, INO (Canada)
Karine Le Foulgoc, INO (Canada)
Mathieu Drolet, INO (Canada)
Pascal Deladurantaye, INO (Canada)
Antoine Proulx, INO (Canada)
Yves Taillon, INO (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7195:
Fiber Lasers VI: Technology, Systems, and Applications
Denis V. Gapontsev; Dahv A. Kliner; Jay W. Dawson; Kanishka Tankala, Editor(s)

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