All-fiber lasers offer increased robustness and simplicity over other fiber laser systems. Current active Q-switching techniques for all-fiber lasers rely on electro-mechanical transducers to strain-tune an intra-cavity fiber-Bragg grating, which adds complexity and can lead to vibrational sensitivity. An all-optical technique for achieving active Q-switched operation is a more elegant approach and would maintain the inherent robustness and simplicity of an all-fiber laser system. In this work, we studied the optical tuning of a fiber-Bragg grating by resonant optical pumping and optimized it for application to active systems. We incorporated an optically-tunable fiber-Bragg grating into a fiber laser and demonstrated active Q-switching at 35 kHz with this all-optical, all-fiber laser system. We highlight the potential to operate at >300 kHz with the current embodiment. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of an optically-driven active Q-switch in a fiber laser. Further potential to operate at MHz frequencies is discussed.
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|Published - 12 Apr 2010