[OPTICAL REVIEW Vol. 2, No. 1 (1995) 52-54]

Design of an Optical Fiber Device for Pumping a Double-Clad Fiber Laser with a Laser Diode Bar


Centro de Investigaciones en Optica A.C., Apdo. Postal 948, Leon, Guanajuato, 37000 Mexico

(Accepted October 27, 1994)

Pumping of a rare-earth-doped double-clad fiber laser with a GaAlAs laser diode bar requires imaging the near field output of a 1 cm long one-dimensional linear array of tens of multi-mode laser diode sources onto a two-dimensional oblong cross section approximately matching the fiber's first cladding shape. This work describes the design and preliminary implementation of a device (here called a high brightness geometric transformer) that achieves this transformation with minimum brightness loss. This is done by imaging the laser diode bar near field using a fast cylindrical micro-lens onto a linear array of N (≈10) soft-glass, thin-clad rectangular fibers; in turn, the fibers' output ends are arranged to form a stack that matches the required first cladding shape. For a typical 20 W CW laser diode bar with brightness of 25 mW•μm-2•sr-1, the geometric transformer output brightness is 0.6 mW•μm-2•sr-1, i.e., there is a ×10 intermediate loss of brightness. If the output of the geometric transformer is used to pump a Nd-doped double-clad fiber laser, an overall brightness gain of ×40 can be achieved.

Key words : fiber lasers, high brightness