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Message ID: 2306     Entry time: Wed Mar 13 17:49:14 2019
Author: awade 
Type: Summary 
Category: WOPO 
Subject: Damage threshold estimates for optical fibers 

This is just a note about damage tolerances for fibers so we have a reference of the amount of power that can be used.  

Thorlabs gives the maximum theoretical CW power as 1 MW/cm² and a 'practical' safe power level of 250 kW/cm² (or a quarter of the max).  They don't seem to provide information about wavelength dependence and assume its the same for all wavelengths.  We don't expect to be affected by any of the exotic ultra high power effects like bend loss induced damage and photodarkening.  The air/glass interface is where the damage will occur.  This can either be because of heating of the ferrule/connector (causing epoxies etc to break down and damage the interface by depositing on the optical surface) or regular mechanism that are the same as bulk optics (dielectric break down and thermal effects).  

The intensity profile of light confined in the fiber is defined by the Mode Field Diameter (MFD) -- the cross-sectional diameter of the light that includes the core of the fiber and a region just beyond the cladding the mode occupies. MFD of 1064 PM fiber (PM980-XP) is 6.6 ± 0.5 μm @ 980 nm and for the 532 nm PM fiber (PM460-HP) is 3.3 ± 0.5 µm @ 515 nm.  

Fiber effective area is 

A = \pi (\textrm{MDF}/2)^2

which is 8.5x10^-8 cm^2 for PM460-HP and 3.4x10^-7 cm^2 for PM980-XP.  Taking the conservative 'practical' damage threshold this indicates a maximum power of 21.4 mW into the 532 nm fiber and 85.5 mW into the 1064 nm PM fiber. The absolute maximum is just a factor of four more than this: 85.6 mW into 532 nm PM fiber and 342 mW into 1064 nm fiber. If the fiber ends are kept clean then we should be fine if the power level is kept below 85 mW.


Fiber beam splitter

Of particular concern is the power handling capability of the fiber beam splitter (PN1064R5A2).  There will be some waste 532 nm light coming out of the WOPO and I don't want these potentially multi-mode components to exit the cladding at the point of the coupler and damage the surrounding material. The 1064 nm maximum power rating of this 50:50 PM beam splitter is listed as 1 W (for the connectorized fiber), so we should be well clear of that threshold for the LO light.  For 532 nm its less clear. The equivalent 532 nm PM 50:50 beam splitter (PN530R5A2) has a rated power of 100 mW @ 530 nm for bare or connectorized fibers. As the MFD of the 1064 nm version of this PM beam splitter has a much larger MFD and the exiting 532 nm light will already be expanded in the cable patching the WOPO to the BS, we should be well clear of this damage threshold point.  

So bottom line is that we need to keep power below 85 mW going into the WOPO device and keep all the end connectors super clean and it will be fine.



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