In this paper, we propose a saturable absorber (SA) device consisting on an in-fiber micro-slot inscribed by femtosecond laser micro fabrication, filled by a dispersion of Carbon Nanotubes (CNT). Due to the flexibility of the fabrication method, efficient and simple integration of the mode-locking device directly into the optical fiber is achieved. Furthermore, the fabrication process offers a high level of control over the dimensions and location of the micro-slots. We apply this fabrication flexibility to extend the interaction length between the CNT and the propagating optical field along the optical fiber, hence enhancing the nonlinearity of the device. Furthermore, the method allows the fabrication of devices that operate by either a direct field interaction (when the central peak of the propagating optical mode passes through the nonlinear media) or an evanescent field interaction (only a fraction of the optical mode interacts with the CNT). In this paper, several devices with different interaction lengths and interaction regimes are investigated. Self-starting passively modelocked laser operation with an enhanced nonlinear interaction is observed using CNT-based SAs in both interaction regimes. This method constitutes a simple and suitable approach to integrate the CNT into the optical system as well as enhancing the optical nonlinearity of CNT-based photonic devices.
Bibliographical note© 2010 OSA
Martínez, A., Zhou, K., Bennion, I., & Yamashita, S. (2010). Passive mode-locked lasing by injecting a carbon nanotube-solution in the core of an optical fiber. Optics Express, 18(11), 11008-11014. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.18.011008