Abstract

In this work, we demonstrated a compact Q-switched erbium-doped fiber laser capable of generating high-energy pulses using a newly developed multiwall carbon nanotube (CNT) polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) thin film based saturable absorber. Q-switched pulse operation is obtained by sandwiching the thin film between two fiber ferrules forming a saturable absorber. A saturable absorber with 1.25 wt. % of PVA concentration shows a consistency in generating pulsed laser with a good range of tunable repetition rate, shortest pulse width, and produces a high pulse energy and peak power. The pulse train generated has a maximum repetition rate of 29.9 kHz with a corresponding pulse width of 3.49 μs as a function of maximum pump power of 32.15 mW. The maximum average output power of the Q-switched fiber laser system is 1.49 mW, which translates to a pulse energy of 49.8 nJ. The proposed method of multiwall CNT/PVA thin film fabrication is low in cost and involves uncomplicated processes.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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