Fiber Lasers

A fiber laser is a laser in which the active gain medium is an optical fiber doped with rare-earth elements such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, thulium and holmium. They are related to doped fiber amplifiers, which provide light amplification without lasing.An advantage of fiber lasers over other types include light is already coupled into a flexible fiber. The fact that the light is already in a fiber allows it to be easily delivered to a movable focusing element, which is important for laser cutting, welding, and folding of metals and polymers. Another advantage is high output power. Fiber lasers can have active regions several kilometers long, and so can provide very high optical gain. Applications of fiber lasers include material processing (marking, engraving, cutting), telecommunications, spectroscopy, medicine, and directed energy weapons.

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