Active fibers are optical fibers which have one or more laser-active dopants in the fiber core. In most cases, they are rare-earth-doped fibers, with dopants like ytterbium, erbium or thulium. Due to those dopants, they can be used as laser gain media, also for realizing fiber amplifiers. Only quite rarely, active fibers are made with transition metal ions.
Besides the ability to amplify light (usually with high gain efficiency and often with a high power conversion efficiency and high beam quality of the output), active fibers usually exhibit higher propagation losses, which however are normally of little relevance, since one generally requires only a relatively short fiber. In most cases, they are single-mode or few-mode fibers, and sometimes large mode area fibers or polarization-maintaining fibers.
Laser amplification is not the only possible physical mechanism to obtain gain in a fiber: stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and the Kerr nonlinearity of the fiber can also be exploited for that purpose. In such cases, one may consider a fiber as active in the sense that it can amplify light.
Questions and Comments from Users
Here you can submit questions and comments. As far as they get accepted by the author, they will appear above this paragraph together with the author’s answer. The author will decide on acceptance based on certain criteria. Essentially, the issue must be of sufficiently broad interest.
Please do not enter personal data here; we would otherwise delete it soon. (See also our privacy declaration.) If you wish to receive personal feedback or consultancy from the author, please contact him e.g. via e-mail.
By submitting the information, you give your consent to the potential publication of your inputs on our website according to our rules. (If you later retract your consent, we will delete those inputs.) As your inputs are first reviewed by the author, they may be published with some delay.
|||R. Paschotta, tutorial on "Modeling of Fiber Amplifiers and Lasers"|