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Introduction:

The KMLabs Y-Fi™ laser series is a family of compact high average power, high repetition rate near-IR ultrafast Yb fiber lasers. Y-Fi products are based on a single rugged opto-mechanical platform and are engineered for hands-free operation.

The Y-Fi family employs a patented all normal dispersion (ANDi) modelocked Yb fiber laser coupled with a fiber amplifer. This configuration offers numerous unique advantages, including:

  • Bandwidth supporting sub-100 fs pulses
  • High output energy from oscillator requires less amplification for shorter, low temporal pedestal pulses
  • Robust long-term operation

The short, clean pulses of the Y-Fi laser series deliver more peak intensity than competing products. KMLabs guarantees both pulse duration and pedestal energy content, verified with a FROG pulse measurement, to ensure each laser pulse is free of picosecond background that robs energy from the main short pulse. Thus, more of the laser output is truly usable, requiring less energy/average power and decreasing the probability of seeing collateral damage and other detrimental interactions.

Applications:

  • OPCPA seeding
  • OPA Pumping
  • Precision micromachining of tissues, glass and plastics

Features:

  • Average power: 4.5 W / 20 W / 35 W (Y-Fi / Y-Fi HP / Y-Fi Ultra)
  • 100-200 fs pulse length with low pulse pedestal gives improved performance for driving nonlinear optical interactions: optimum efficiency at lower pulse energy / average power
  • Tunable repetition rate (0.5-15, 60 MHz)
  • Fully integrated, ruggedized, hands-free laser source
  • Stable over large temperature range (16-26°C)
  • Graphical, intuitive software control with integrated diagnostics
  • Computer controlled pulse width precompensation: optimize your experiment with no external prisms or gratings
  • No user adjustments on head
  • Small optical head footprint (~ 30 x 45 cm) for Y-Fi™ and Y-Fi HP
  • Pulse energies up to > 20 μJ, with custom higher power systems available

Featured Application: Deep-tissue two-photon imaging

Researchers at the University of Denver used a Y-Fi to demonstrate ex vivo mouse cortex imaging at “depths exceeding those obtainable with standard two-photon microscopes using Ti:Sapphire lasers.”

Arjun K. Fontaine, Matthew S. Kirchner, John H. Caldwell, Richard F. Weir, Emily A. Gibson, “Deep-tissue two-photon imaging in brain and peripheral nerve with a compact high-pulse energy ytterbium fiber laser”, Proc. SPIE 10492, Optical Interactions with Tissue and Cells XXIX, 1049217 (13 February 2018)

KMLabs outlines its unique, intelligent approach to high performance ultrafast fiber lasers in Optics Express paper

One problem that has always been an issue with ultrafast fiber laser technology is that optical fiber properties change over time, changing the properties of the output, and at-times causing failure to pulse. In-general, this has been addressed in designs by limiting the performance of the laser, for example by including SESAM saturable absorbers that are susceptible to damage and degradation over time, and which limit the obtainable pulse duration.

In a recent publication in Optics Express,[1] KMLabs scientists outline their novel, intelligent patent pending approach toward obtaining consistent high performance from their Y-Fi ultrafast fiber laser. By using liquid crystal polarizer elements to control the laser, all parameters can be controlled by computer. By using intelligent optimization, the laser can operate with consistent, no-compromise performance without any SESAM saturable absorbers. This consistent performance also allows for optimization of the fiber laser amplifiers, allowing KMLabs’ Y-Fi to consistently outperform the competition, enabling new applications of fiber lasers such as the tunable infrared Y-Fi OPA.

1. DG Winters, MS Kirchner, SJ Backus, and HC Kapteyn, “Electronic initiation and optimization of nonlinear polarization evolution mode-locking in a fiber laser,” Optics Express 25(26), 33216-33225 (2017)

Y-Fi

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