• Q-switched and Mode-locked Mid-IR Fiber Lasers

      Peyghambarian, Nasser; Zhu, Gongwen; Peyghambarian, Nasser; Norwood, Robert A.; Zhu, Xiushan (The University of Arizona., 2015)
      Mid-infrared (IR) lasers (2-12 μm) have found tremendous applications in medical surgeries, spectroscopy, remote sensing, etc. Nowadays, mid-IR emissions are usually generated from semiconductor lasers, gas lasers, and solid-state lasers based on nonlinear wavelength conversion. However, they usually have disadvantages including poor beam quality, low efficiency, and complicated configurations. Mid-IR fiber lasers have the advantages of excellent beam quality, high efficiency, inherent simplicity, compactness, and outstanding heat-dissipating capability, and have attracted significant interest in recent years. In this dissertation, I have studied and investigated Q-switched and mode-locked fiber lasers in the mid-IR wavelength region. My dissertation includes six chapters: In Chapter 1, I review the background of mid-IR lasers and address my motivation on the research of mid-IR fiber lasers; In Chapter 2, I present the experimental results of microsecond and nanosecond Er³⁺-doped and Ho³⁺-doped fiber lasers in the 3 μm wavelength region Q-switched by Fe²⁺:ZnSe and graphene saturable absorbers. In Chapter 3, Q-switched 3 μm laser fiber amplifiers are investigated experimentally and theoretically and their power scaling are discussed. In Chapter 4, a graphene mode-locked Er³⁺-doped fiber lasers at 2.8 μm with a pulse width < 50 ps is presented. In Chapter 5, extending the spectral range of mid-IR fiber lasers by use of nonlinear wavelength conversion is addressed and discussed. I have proposed 10-watt-level 3-5 μm Raman lasers using tellurite fibers as the nonlinear gain medium and pumped by our Er³⁺-doped fiber lasers at 2.8 μm. In the last chapter, the prospect of mid-IR fiber laser is addressed and further research work is discussed.