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Fiber lasers are lasers directly integrated into optical fibers. In its standard form, an optical fiber with a rare-earth doped core absorbs unusable, low brightness (multimoded) light from semiconductor diode lasers and reemits bright (single-moded) light necessary for applications. The distributed heat load and waveguiding allows for high quality lasers which can scale to very high powers with minimal problems of thermal and beam quality degradation. In a very short span (< 10 years), fiber lasers have replaced several high power laser technologies such as solid-state lasers and carbon-di-oxide lasers in multiple industrial and defense applications. There are still significant limitations to the technology of fiber lasers and overcoming these is a primary goal of the research program for Prof. Supradeepa.

Raman Fiber Lasers

Conventional fiber lasers and amplifiers utilize absorption and stimulated emission by rare-earth dopants embedded into optical fibers. Though a very successful technology to create high power laser sources, it is heavily constrained in emission wavelengths by the material properties of the rare-earth dopants. This is a serious limitation since different applications have different wavelength requirements. A promising technique to achieve wavelength diversity is to utilize wavelength conversion by stimulated Raman scattering. Such lasers, referred to as Raman lasers can leverage the conventional fiber laser technology at fixed wavelengths to provide scalable, high power lasers in a wide variety of wavelengths. Prof Supradeepa’s group is working towards advancing the technology of Raman lasers.

Power scaling of Fiber Lasers

Power scaling is ultimately limited by increasing levels of nonlinearity and thermal effects which can substantially degrade performance and create catastrophic consequences for the laser. We look at these effects in the laser at high power levels. The goal of Prof Supradeepa’s group is to design and build nonlinearity and thermally managed, high power laser modules and systems.

Associate Professor
Associate Professor