The recent development of soliton femtosecond fiber lasers emitting at 2.8 μm opens a new avenue for the generation of ultrashort pulses in the mid-infrared spectral region. In this paper, we investigate the peak power scalability of such lasers. By optimizing the output coupling ratio and the length of the Er3+: fluoride fiber in the cavity, we demonstrate the generation of 270-fs pulses with an energy of 7 nJ and an estimated peak power of 23 kW. These record performances at 2.8 μm surpass by far those obtained from standard soliton lasers at 1.55 μm. A numerical model of the laser including the effect of the intracavity atmospheric absorption is also presented. Numerical simulations agree well with the experimental results and suggest that the atmospheric propagation in the cavity could prevent the laser from self-starting in a mode-locked regime. This femtosecond laser could be the building block for simple and compact mid-infrared frequency combs and supercontinuum sources.
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Simon Duval ; Michel Olivier ; Vincent Fortin ; Martin Bernier ; Michel Piché, et al.
23-kW peak power femtosecond pulses from a mode-locked fiber ring laser at 2.8 μm
", Proc. SPIE 9728, Fiber Lasers XIII: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 972802 (March 9, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2204746; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.2204746