Acousto-optic modulators (AOM) based on flexural acoustic waves and its application to implement active mode-locking in all-fiber lasers is reported. The modulator is based on the intermodal coupling between core-to-cladding modes induced by the excitation of a standing flexural acoustic wave along an optical fiber. This acousto-optic effect permits the implementation of broad bandwidth, high modulation depth and low-insertion-loss in-fiber amplitude modulator. The effectiveness of the AOM is demonstrated by implementing active mode-locking operation. Optical pulses as short as 25 ps temporal width were obtained at 2.46 MHz repetition rate.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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