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Opt Express. 2008 Aug 18;16(17):13240-66.

Analysis of the scalability of diffraction-limited fiber lasers and amplifiers to high average power.

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  • 1Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, USA.


We analyze the scalability of diffraction-limited fiber lasers considering thermal, non-linear, damage and pump coupling limits as well as fiber mode field diameter (MFD) restrictions. We derive new general relationships based upon practical considerations. Our analysis shows that if the fiber's MFD could be increased arbitrarily, 36 kW of power could be obtained with diffraction-limited quality from a fiber laser or amplifier. This power limit is determined by thermal and non-linear limits that combine to prevent further power scaling, irrespective of increases in mode size. However, limits to the scaling of the MFD may restrict fiber lasers to lower output powers.

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