Ultrafast pulse dynamics in low noise Tm/Ho doped mode-locked fiber lasers
Akosman, Ahmet Emin
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Mode-locked fiber lasers have attracted significant scientific and commercial interest since they offer a compact and highly stable platform with straightforward operation for exploiting ultrafast and nonlinear phenomena. They have enabled a vast range of applications that span from distinct disciplines such as medical diagnostics, molecular spectroscopy, and high-power precise mechanical cutting, to optical metrology. Various gain media have been utilized to achieve laser emission at different wavelengths. We have developed unique thulium/holmium (Tm/Ho) doped mode-locked fiber laser systems to address the needs of low-noise ultrafast optical sources in the wavelength vicinity of 2 μm at higher repetition rates. Since the 2 μm wavelength regime has recently attracted more attention with the emergence of thulium gain fibers, the rich underlying cavity dynamics, novel pulse operation regimes and nonlinear phenomena in compact fiber configurations have not been fully explored yet. In this thesis, research is conducted on novel Tm fiber laser cavity configurations and on the formation of unique, polarization-based pulsing regimes. Particularly, this research is focused on the exploration of novel ultrafast and nonlinear phenomena, and the development of optical sources emitting unprecedented ultrafast pulse trains beyond conventional equal-intensity distribution using Tm/Ho doped gain media. The research presented features four main results: 1) development of a high repetition rate and low-noise Tm/Ho doped mode-locked fiber laser platform as an attractive optical source for a wide variety of applications 2) investigation of a novel mode-locked state in which the ultrafast pulse train is composed of co-generated, consecutive, equal intensity and orthogonally polarized pulses in order to achieve dual RF comb generation for dual-comb spectroscopy applications, 3) exploration of controllable ultrafast waveform generation utilizing vector soliton and harmonic mode-locking mechanisms for optical telecommunication applications, and 4) demonstration of unique transitional mode-locked states showing exceptional features such as powerful irregular bursts of ultrafast pulses and rogue wave behavior without damaging the laser elements. The aim of these projects has been to explore the novel optical properties of Tm/Ho co-doped fiber lasers in order to achieve advanced functionalities in commonly practiced applications such as telecommunication, metrology and spectroscopic applications.