Advances in low-loss high purity glasses were initially driven by fiber-optic communications, and the related interest in developing low-loss optical fibers covering a variety of spectral
regions, which in turn led to the development of fibers as rare earth and transition metal ion host media for numerous unique fiber amplifier, laser and attenuator applications. The
ultralow “Rayleigh scattering limited” loss floors theoretically achievable at longer wavelengths spurred the development of low-loss mid-IR fibers leading to three dominant families of
“soft glass” fibers, namely fluorides, chalcogenides, and tellurites. Of these families of mid-IR fibers and glasses, the fluoride glass fiber technology has emerged as the most mature
because of its unique combination of broad transparency, glass stability, and its “fiberizability” into low-loss single-mode fibers.
In this talk, he will review device optimization issues related to glass-based mid-infrared optoelectronic devices, notably mid-infrared fiber lasers and fiber amplifiers, nonlinear optic frequency converters and comb generators, and micro-resonators for sensors and mid-IR micro-lasers. Specific achievements – including the attainment of >20 Watts of output power in mid-IR fiber lasers will be discussed, along with the prospect of achieving narrow linewidth sub-megahertz mid-IR fiber lasers spanning the mid-IR spectral range between 2-7 microns.