Matching Active and Passive Fibers and Their Measurement For Improved Laser Performance
March 7, 2012
By: G.Oulundsen, K.Farley, J.Abramczyk, K.Wei
Fiber lasers have seen tremendous growth in recent years and are becoming alternatives to traditional lasers such as CO2 and DPSSL at high CW power levels because of their high efficiency and low maintenance costs. One recent improvement in the laser performance at the kW power level has been the careful matching of the active and passive fibers within the entire laser system. Fiber matching has led to more repeatable splices with lower loss, better thermal management by minimization of stray light, and the ability to operate at higher powers while maintaining single mode beam quality. Some laser suppliers manufacture their own internal fibers, but others purchase fiber from a fiber manufacturer. In all cases, it is important to have high quality well controlled matched active and passive fibers.
In this paper, we review some of the methods used to match fibers and discuss how measurements play an important role in the manufacturing of matched fibers; show how matched fibers can improve overall laser performance enabling single mode beam quality at high powers. We present the methodology and results of matching active and passive fibers and discuss the key measurements necessary for fiber matching.
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