Fiber lasers hold great potential with regard to scaling achievable output powers. However, above a certain point, single fiber lasers are limited by the occurrence of undesirable non-linear effects, despite all the innovations and technical progress achieved in recent years.
Using spectral beam combining (SBC), the power potential can be further increased irrespective of the limited power of single fiber lasers. Here, bundles of several independent fiber lasers with varying wavelengths are spatially superimposed with a dispersive element (e.g. dielectric reflection grating) to form a single output bundle. As a result, the total power of the SBC system can be increased many times over in comparison with a single fiber laser. The concept can be carried over to pulsed systems. Here, it is not the average power but also pulse parameters such as peak power and pulse energy which are important for applications.
- T. Schreiber, C. Wirth, O. Schmidt, T. V. Andersen, I. Tsybin, S. Böhme, T. Peschel, F. Brückner, T. Clausnitzer, F. Röser, R. Eberhardt, J. Limpert, A. Tünnermann, »Incoherent Beam Combining of Continuous-Wave and Pulsed Yb-Doped Fiber Amplifiers«, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Vol. 15, 2, 354 – 360 (2009).
- O. Schmidt, C. Wirth, D. Nodop, J. Limpert, T. Schreiber, T. Peschel, R. Eberhardt, and A. Tünnermann, »Spectral beam combination of fiber amplified ns-pulses by means of interference filters«, Opt. Express 17, 22974-22982 (2009).