A rate-equation analysis of the erbium 3-um ZBLAN fiber laser is performed. The computer calculation includes the longitudinal spatial resolution of the host material. It considers ground-state bleaching, excited-state absorption (ESA), interionic processes, lifetime quenching by co-doping, and stimulated emission at 2.7 um and 850 nm. State-of-the-art technology including double-clad diode pumping is assumed in the calculation. Pump ESA is identified as the major problem of this laser. With high Er3+ concentration, suitable Pr3+ co-doping, and low pump density, ESA is avoided and a diode-pumped erbium 3-um ZBLAN laser is predicted which is capable of emitting a transversely single-mode output power of 1.0 W when pumped with 7-W incident power at 800 nm. The corresponding output intensity which is relevant for surgical applications will be in the range of 1.8 MW/cm2. Compared to Ti:sapphire-pumped cascade-lasing regimes, the proposed approach represents a strong decrease of the requirements on mirror coatings, cavity alignment, and especially pump intensity. Of the possible drawbacks investigated in the simulation, only insufficient lifetime quenching is found to have a significant influence on laser performance.
- IOMS-APD: Active Photonic Devices
- optical fiber lasers
- laser biomedical applications
- rare earth lasers
- Diode pumped lasers
- infrared lasers