Atomic layer deposition of zirconium oxide thin film on an optical fiber for cladding light strippers


Abstract: Cladding light strippers are essential components in high-power fiber lasers used for removal of unwanted cladding light that can distort the beam quality or even damage the whole fiber laser system. In this study, an Atomic Layer Deposition system was used for the first time to prepare the cladding light stripper devices using a 40 nm thick zirconia layer grown on optical fiber. The thickness of the zirconia coating was confirmed using the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and the Ellipsometry techniques. The elemental analysis was also performed using the wavelength dispersive X-ray spectroscopy technique. The Raman spectroscopy and XRD data confirm the structure of the atomic layer deposition-grown zirconia thin films to be predominantly amorphous. The cladding light stripper devices formed using the zirconia thin films with the lengths of 8.5 and 15.5 cm were able to strip approximately 30% (~1.5 dB) and 40% (~2.3 dB) of the unwanted cladding light.

Keywords: Fiber laser, atomic layer deposition, thin film, zirconium oxide, cladding light stripper

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