2013 R&D 100 Winner


click to enlarge

Fiber lasers and amplifiers are common in a number of national defense applications. Increasing the average power of these lasers is straightforward: Use multiple lasers in multi-mode operation. However, to maintain the ability to focus, single-mode operation is often necessary. Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed Efficient Mode-Converters for High-Power Fiber Amplifiers as a way to help developers scale fiber-based laser installations to higher power levels while still retaining effective focus. This “mode-converter” system can transform a diffraction-limited TEM00 laser mode to the higher-order-mode (HOM) of a rectangular-core, or ribbon, fiber. The HOM can now be safely amplified without destroying the fiber laser amplifier. Livermore Lab’s system then converts this large-area, high-order mode back into the diffraction-limited TEM00 mode with more than 80% efficiency.

Converters for high-power fiber amplifiers

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Development Team

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Efficient Mode-Converters for High-Power Fiber Amplifiers development team (l-r): Jay Dawson, Derrek Reggie Drachenberg, John Heebner, James Paul Armstrong, Paul Pax.


The Efficient Mode-Converters for High-Power Fiber Amplifiers Development Team from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Arun Kumar Sridharan, Principal Developer
James Armstrong
Jay Dawson
Derrek Drachenberg
John Heebner
Paul Pax