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Abstract

Combining the sol-gel method for fiber material production with the granulated silica method for preform assembly results in a robust method that offers a high degree of freedom regarding both the composition and the geometry of the produced fiber. Using this method, two types of Yb-doped silica glass composition, that feature an excess in P concentration with respect to Al, have been prepared. The elemental distributions in a fiber core were analyzed by scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The elemental mapping shows a similar localization of Al, P and Yb through the microstructure. In addition, the influence of the variation in the co-dopant concentration, with respect to Yb, on the fiber properties has been investigated. The results show an increase in the refractive index step and in the fiber's transmission loss as the excess concentration of P increases. A significant contribution to the losses can be assigned to the existence of impurities such as iron, which was detected in our samples by mass spectrometer. Single exponential fluorescence decays with lifetimes of around 0.88 ms were measured for the two compositions. Finally, pumping at 976 nm a laser slope efficiency of 67% at 1031 nm was achieved for one of the fiber compositions.

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