Close to three-octave-spanning supercontinuum generated in ZBLAN photonic crystal fibre

01.01.2014, 00:00

Newsletter 7

We report the successful fabrication, using advanced stack-and-draw techniques, of the world's first ZBLAN glass (ZrF4-BaF2-LaF3-AlF3-NaF) photonic crystal fibre (PCF) with sub-micron features and a large air-filling fraction – considered by many experts to be impossible because of the narrow temperature range over which ZBLAN glass softens. By appropriate choice of core diameter, a close to three-octave-wide supercontinuum (10 dB-flat from 350 to 2500 nm) was generated by pumping with 140 fs, 1 nJ pulses at 1042 nm from an Yb3+-doped KYW laser. Compared to previous work on supercontinuum generation in all-solid step-index ZBLAN fibers, which  require pumping with pulses in the µJ or even mJ range due to low effective nonlinearity and a non-ideal dispersion landscape, these results represent a significant advance, producing a much wider spectrum. The availability of high-quality ZBLAN PCF opens up remarkable possibilities for the generation of ultra-broadband supercontinua. In addition, ZBLAN glass is an excellent host for rare-earth ions, suggesting the possibility of developing mid-infrared light amplifiers and coherent sources at MPL in future.

Contact: xin.jiang(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Russell Division
Reference: Post-deadline paper JTh5A.6, Advanced Solid-State Lasers (OSA Topical Meeting), Paris, Oct.27 – Nov.1, 2013