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  • Received: Jan. 6, 2020

    Accepted: May. 25, 2020

    Posted: May. 26, 2020

    Published Online: Jun. 29, 2020

    The Author Email: Xianglong Zeng (zenglong@shu.edu.cn)

    DOI: 10.1364/PRJ.386954

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    Jiafeng Lu, Fan Shi, Linghao Meng, Longkun Zhang, Linping Teng, Zhengqian Luo, Peiguang Yan, Fufei Pang, Xianglong Zeng. Real-time observation of vortex mode switching in a narrow-linewidth mode-locked fiber laser[J]. Photonics Research, 2020, 8(7): 07001203

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Photonics Research, Vol. 8, Issue 7, 07001203 (2020)

Real-time observation of vortex mode switching in a narrow-linewidth mode-locked fiber laser

Jiafeng Lu1, Fan Shi1, Linghao Meng1, Longkun Zhang1, Linping Teng1, Zhengqian Luo2, Peiguang Yan3, Fufei Pang1,4, and Xianglong Zeng1,*

Author Affiliations

  • 1Key Laboratory of Specialty Fiber Optics and Optical Access Networks, Joint International Research Laboratory of Specialty Fiber Optics and Advanced Communication, Shanghai University, Shanghai 200444, China
  • 2Department of Electronic Engineering, School of Information Science and Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
  • 3Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Laser Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, China
  • 4e-mail: ffpang@shu.edu.cn

Abstract

Temporal and spatial resonant modes are always possessed in physical systems with energy oscillation. In ultrafast fiber lasers, enormous progress has been made toward controlling the interactions of many longitudinal modes, which results in temporally mode-locked pulses. Recently, optical vortex beams have been extensively investigated due to their quantized orbital angular momentum, spatially donut-like intensity, and spiral phase front. In this paper, we have demonstrated the first to our knowledge observation of optical vortex mode switching and their corresponding pulse evolution dynamics in a narrow-linewidth mode-locked fiber laser. The spatial mode switching is achieved by incorporating a dual-resonant acousto-optic mode converter in the vortex mode-locked fiber laser. The vortex mode-switching dynamics have four stages, including quiet-down, relaxation oscillation, quasi mode-locking, and energy recovery prior to the stable mode-locking of another vortex mode. The evolution dynamics of the wavelength shifting during the switching process are observed via the time-stretch dispersion Fourier transform method. The spatial mode competition through optical nonlinearity induces energy fluctuation on the time scale of ultrashort pulses, which plays an essential role in the mode-switching dynamic process. The results have great implications in the study of spatial mode-locking mechanisms and ultrashort laser applications.

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