Wideband-tuneable, nanotube mode-locked, fibre laser

F. Wang, A. G. Rozhin, V. Scardaci, Z. Sun, F. Hennrich, I. H. White, W. I. Milne, A. C. Ferrari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

651 Citations (SciVal)


Ultrashort-pulse lasers with spectral tuning capability have widespread applications in fields such as spectroscopy, biomedical research and telecommunications. Mode-locked fibre lasers are convenient and powerful sources of ultrashort pulses, and the inclusion of a broadband saturable absorber as a passive optical switch inside the laser cavity may offer tuneability over a range of wavelengths. Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors are widely used in fibre lasers, but their operating range is typically limited to a few tens of nanometres, and their fabrication can be challenging in the 1.3-1.5 νm wavelength region used for optical communications. Single-walled carbon nanotubes are excellent saturable absorbers because of their subpicosecond recovery time, low saturation intensity, polarization insensitivity, and mechanical and environmental robustness. Here, we engineer a nanotube-polycarbonate film with a wide bandwidth (>300 nm) around 1.55 νm, and then use it to demonstrate a 2.4 ps Er 3+ -doped fibre laser that is tuneable from 1,518 to 1,558 nm. In principle, different diameters and chiralities of nanotubes could be combined to enable compact, mode-locked fibre lasers that are tuneable over a much broader range of wavelengths than other systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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