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Tunable dual-color operation of Yb:fiber laser via mechanical spectral subdivision

Jakob Fellinger, Georg Winkler, Aline S. Mayer, Laurin R. Steidle, and Oliver H. Heckl

Optics Express, Vol. 27, No. 4, 18.02.2019, p. 5478-5486.


We present a versatile method to generate a dual-color laser from a single fiber laser cavity by spectral subdivision using a tunable mechanical filter. As a proof-of-principle, we implement the concept in a nonlinear polarization evolution (NPE)-mode-locked ytterbium (Yb)-fiber laser. The division into two independent spectral regions is achieved by inserting a narrow blade-shaped beam block into the free-space grating compressor section of the cavity, where the spectrum is spatially dispersed. By mode-locking both spectral regions, two pulse trains, with different repetition rates around 23 MHz, are generated. Each pulse train has a FWHM of ~10 nm. The method presented here enables tuning of the difference in repetition rate as well as the spectral separation of the two independent pulse trains. The difference in repetition rates originates from intracavity dispersion and can be tuned over a large range (650 Hz - 3 kHz in this setup) by changing the length of the grating compressor. By changing the effective width of the beam block the spectral separation can be dynamically adjusted. This approach’s simplicity holds great promises for the development of single-cavity dual-comb lasers featuring tunable sampling rates.

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