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Title: 2013 R&D 100 Award: New tech could mean more power for fiber lasers

An LLNL team of six physicists has developed a new technology that is a stepping stone to enable some of the limitations on high-power fiber lasers to be overcome. Their technology, dubbed "Efficient Mode-Converters for High-Power Fiber Amplifiers," allows the power of fiber lasers to be increased while maintaining high beam quality. Currently, fiber lasers are used in machining, on factory floors and in a number of defense applications and can produce tens of kilowatts of power.The conventional fiber laser design features a circular core and has fundamental limitations that make it impractical to allow higher laser power unless the core area is increased. LLNL researchers have pioneered a design to increase the laser's core area along the axis of the ribbon fiber. Their design makes it difficult to use a conventional laser beam, so the LLNL team converted the beam into a profile that propagates into the ribbon fiber and is converted back once it is amplified. The use of this LLNL technology will permit the construction of higher power lasers for lower costs and increase the power of fiber lasers from tens of kilowatts of power to about 100 kilowatts and potentially even higher.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1140191
Resource Type:
Other
Research Org:
LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States))
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS LASERS; FIBER LASERS; MODE CONVERTER; PHYSICS; ENGINEERING; LASER REFRACTORS; GRANTS; AWARDS