Tunable fibre lasers draw intensive attention because their emission wavelength can be systematically tuned within a certain spectral range, which allows using a single laser source instead of several sources. This is convenient and cost-effective for many applications in a range of fields, such as telecom, material processing, microscopy, medicine and imaging and so on. The laser wavelength can be tuned in a certain range of wavelength by inserting wavelength-selective elements into the laser’s optical cavity. This chapter describes the twin core fibre (TCF)-based filters, which work as the wavelength-selective element. They are introduced into the ring cavity to implement tunable single-, dual- and multi-wavelength fibre lasers. First, we deduced the coupled-mode theory of TCF-based filter. Second, we experimentally and numerically characterized the optical properties of TCF-based filters including free spectral range, polarization dependence, strain effect and bending effect. Finally, we investigated three tunable fibre lasers which operate at single-, dual- and multi-wavelengths, respectively. The operation mechanism of the fibre lasers mainly involved the elastic-optic effect, polarization hole burning effect and non-linear optical loop mirror. We emphasized the tuning mechanism and the tuning characteristics of the tunable fibre lasers.
Part of the book: Fiber Laser