Applied Physics

Powering Up in Single Mode

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Science  05 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5565, pp. 17
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5565.17b

Rare earth-doped optical fibers are compact and rugged light sources used in the telecommunication industry as lasers and optical amplifiers. For higher powered pulsed applications, their utility is somewhat hampered by the limited power they can carry and emit. One obvious alternative, increasing the diameter of the fiber, has the disadvantage of allowing light to propagate via many transverse modes. Di Teodoro et al. provide a simple solution by introducing a bend in the fiber of just the right geometry that suppresses propagation of the higher order modes. An ytterbium-doped multimode fiber 17 micrometers in diameter can operate in single mode when coiled around a 1.67-micrometer diameter spool and can achieve peak power in excess of 300 kilowatts.—ISO

Opt. Lett.27, 518 (2002).

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