Life Preserver for Fiber Lasers
2014 R&D 100 Winner
Isolators are used to block back-reflected light in a fiber laser. Conventional free-space fiber pigtailed isolators can only handle less than 1 W of back-reflected light, which accounts for the main cause of failure for most fiber laser systems. Estimates are that more than 60,000 fiber lasers are at risk of this type of failure, costing operators $75 million a year.
With its All-Fiber Isolator, AdValue Photonics Inc. can now provide fiber laser system operators with the ability to handle more than 200 W of back-reflected light. This capability lets fiber laser systems operate reliably up to the kilowatt levels.
The innovation behind the All-Fiber Isolator is a highly rare-Earth-doped Faraday rotating fiber and fused fiber polarizer. The fiber and polarizer are fusion spliced together, such that there is no air gap from the input and the output. Lack of an air gap means the device can handle high-throughput power. Another key innovation is glass fiber material itself, a heavily terbium-doped silicate fiber that exhibits a strong magneto-optic: Its Verdet constant is greater than 300 times higher than conventional silica glass. This allows the construction of a more compact Faraday rotator.
AdValue Photonics Inc.
|AdValue Photonic's All-Fiber Isolator development team (l-r): Jihong Geng, Bryson Case, Adriana Peru, Shibin Jiang and Zexuan Qiang.|
The All-Fiber Isolator Development Team from AdValue Photonics Inc.
Shibin Jiang, Principal Developer