Abstract

We demonstrated a pulsed ytterbium all-fiber laser passively $Q$-switched using excited-state absorption of thulium fiber and a mode-field-area mismatch. The absorption cross section of the excited state $^3{F_4} $ was measured and determined to be the key factor inducing pulsing, and it was much higher than that of the ground state $^3{H_6} $ over 0.95–1.15 µm. By successfully realizing the pulsed laser at 1030 nm, which is the most critical wavelength for $Q$-switching, we verified that the excite state $^3{F_4} $ of ${{\rm Tm}^{3 + }}$ could be a full-range saturable-absorber $Q$-switch for a Yb fiber laser over 1.0–1.15 µm.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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