Table of Contents
Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2010, Article ID 501956, 23 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/501956
Review Article

High-Power ZBLAN Glass Fiber Lasers: Review and Prospect

College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, 1630 East University Boulevard, Tucson, AR 85721, USA

Received 15 October 2009; Accepted 7 January 2010

Academic Editor: Iyad Dajani

Copyright © 2010 Xiushan Zhu and N. Peyghambarian. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

ZBLAN (ZrF4-BaF2-LaF3-AlF3-NaF), considered as the most stable heavy metal fluoride glass and the excellent host for rare-earth ions, has been extensively used for efficient and compact ultraviolet, visible, and infrared fiber lasers due to its low intrinsic loss, wide transparency window, and small phonon energy. In this paper, the historical progress and the properties of fluoride glasses and the fabrication of ZBLAN fibers are briefly described. Advances of infrared, upconversion, and supercontinuum ZBLAN fiber lasers are addressed in detail. Finally, constraints on the power scaling of ZBLAN fiber lasers are analyzed and discussed. ZBLAN fiber lasers are showing promise of generating high-power emissions covering from ultraviolet to mid-infrared considering the recent advances in newly designed optical fibers, beam-shaped high-power pump diodes, beam combining techniques, and heat-dissipating technology.