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Mode-locking threshold decrease in a fiber laser by heterochromic optical pulse injection

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Abstract

A Yb-doped fiber laser mode locked by a nonlinear amplifying loop mirror (NALM) with a figure-9 configuration is experimentally realized. By coupling heterochromic 1580-nm optical pulses into the circular part of the Yb-doped laser oscillator, a new injection-induced Q-switched mode-locking (Q-ML) like transition state is found for the first time to the best of our knowledge. We have investigated the envelope interval and duration of this Q-switched envelope by changing the pump power, injection power, and cavity length detuning. Experimental results have shown the injected pulses serve as a complementary source for establishing mode-locking (ML). As a result, the self-starting ML threshold of the Yb-doped fiber laser is significantly reduced from 355 to 171 mW, which is only half that in the non-injection case. This optical pulse injection assisted ML process is observed with a real-time oscilloscope, revealing stable and consistent buildup dynamics. Our finding may provide a new approach for understanding the buildup dynamics and building mode-locked fiber lasers with low threshold and high consistency.

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Supplementary Material (1)

NameDescription
Visualization 1       Laser operation from noisy pulse, Q-switched mode-locking to stable continous mode-locking by synchronous injection when reducing the cavity detuning length from 0.3 mm to 0.

Data availability

Data underlying the results presented in this Letter are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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