Abstract

Random fiber lasers blend together attractive features of traditional random lasers, such as low cost and simplicity of fabrication, with high-performance characteristics of conventional fiber lasers, such as good directionality and high efficiency. Low coherence of random lasers is important for speckle-free imaging applications. The random fiber laser with distributed feedback proposed in 2010 led to a quickly developing class of light sources that utilize inherent optical fiber disorder in the form of the Rayleigh scattering and distributed Raman gain. The random fiber laser is an interesting and practically important example of a photonic device based on exploitation of optical medium disorder. We provide an overview of recent advances in this field, including high-power and high-efficiency generation, spectral and statistical properties of random fiber lasers, nonlinear kinetic theory of such systems, and emerging applications in telecommunications and distributed sensing.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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