The 1620-1700 nm region of the optical spectrum is important as it contains numerous molecular resonance lines of chemical species. We have investigated, theoretically and experimentally, the possibility of designing an efficient tunable wavelength converter (WC) based on a fiber OPA, to generate high-power in that range, by mixing radiation generated by C- and L-band fiber amplifiers.
We have theoretically investigated the possibility of obtaining strong pump depletion in a one-pump fiber OPA, and of maintaining high conversion efficiency as the signal is tuned over a wide range. We have shown analytically that strong pump depletion can be obtained over a broad tuning range, when the signal input power is about one half of the pump input power.
In experiments with a 40-m long highly-nonlinear fiber (HNLF) we have generated 900 mW of CW output power at 1665 nm, when pumping with 3W at 1612nm and 0.82W at 1562nm. The optical conversion efficiency was 23%, and the linewidth was less than 0.1 nm. To our knowledge this is the highest CW output power reported to date for a fiber OPA WC. We have also obtained similar output characteristics at 1684 nm, demonstrating the tunability of the device, which can in principle be tuned over the 1662-1697 nm region by tuning the signal wavelength over the C-band (1535 to 1565 nm). We anticipate that the output power can be scaled to higher powers.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.