Random distributed feedback fiber Raman lasers, where the feedback mechanism is provided by Rayleigh backscattering, have attracted a good deal of attention since they were first introduced in 2010. Their simple and flexible design, combined with good lasing efficiency and beam quality properties, comparable to those of standard cavity lasers, have led to multiple applications, particularly in the fields of fiber sensing and optical communications. In spite of these advances, the polarization properties of random fiber Raman lasers, which can strongly affect their performance in both sensing and communications, have barely been explored so far. In this article we experimentally and theoretically study the polarization properties of different open-cavity laser designs, based on either standard transmission fibers or low polarization-mode-dispersion spun fibers. By using high-power, highly-polarized pumps, we demonstrate controllable polarization-pulling and simultaneous lasing at close wavelengths with different output polarization properties in random distributed feedback fiber Raman lasers. These results advance our understanding of the polarization dynamics in ultralong lasers, and pave the way to the design of novel fiber laser sources capable of polarization-sensitive sensing and distributed amplification.
- MODE DISPERSION
- RANDOMLY VARYING BIREFRINGENCE
- ULTIMATE EFFICIENCY