Gain-switched lasers can also generate nanosecond pulses, but with much lower pulse energies. In the case of semiconductor lasers, the peak power is often limited to the order of 1 W. Gain-switched fiber-coupled semiconductor lasers are interesting seed sources for fiber amplifiers, and such MOPA devices are increasingly seen as a possible substitute for Q-switched lasers in many cases, at least for pulse energies not exceeding a few millijoules. One of the main advantages is the great flexibility of modifying both pulse repetition rate and pulse duration electronically, and keeping the pulse duration constant when the repetition rate is varied in large ranges. Also, such devices can be fabricated at lower cost.
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