Nonlinear polarization evolution (NPE) is among the most advanced techniques for obtaining ultrashort pulses with excellent optical performance. However, it is challenging to design environmentally stable NPE fiber oscillators using only polarization-maintaining (PM) fibers. Here, we use the same PM fiber and non-reciprocal phase shifter to design two different devices, which are capable of acting as effective NPE saturable absorbers (SAs) in two all-PM linear cavity fiber lasers. These two laser setups differ in the position of the non-reciprocal phase shifter, the presence of which is crucial for the proposed fiber lasers to reduce their mode-locking thresholds and achieve high repetition rates above 100 MHz. The mode-locking principle and pulse evolution in the laser cavity are investigated theoretically. The first all-PM fiber oscillator emits sub-200 fs stretched pulses with low peak powers. The second oscillator, with a simpler architecture, directly delivers stretched pulses with high peak powers, the spectral bandwidth greater than 30 nm, and the pulse duration less than 90 fs. To the best of our knowledge, 79 fs achieved in this design is the shortest pulse duration provided by PM fiber lasers using NPE mode-lockers.
- Nonlinear polarization evolution
- polarization-maintaining setups
- ultrafast fiber laser