The maximum output power offiber lasers limited by the thermal degradation of double-clad
fiber coatings is theoretically simulated. We investigated the thermal effects on high-power
continuous wave (CW) fiber lasers with a focus on heating at the splice joints as well as on the
doped fiber caused by quantum defects. Whether thermal interface materials are used or not, the
thermal contact resistances between the fiber and its heat sink are measured separately while using
different cooling equipments. Though the thermal management of splices is more difficult than that
of active fibers, a temperature increase of 0.019 K/W is obtained for a splice joint into which the
pump light launches. The splice joint sustains 3 kW of total passing power.
© 2012 Chinese Optics Letters
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