Date of Award

August 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Arash Mafi

Committee Members

George Hanson, Chiu-Tai Law, Hossein Hosseini, Vishnuteja Nanduri



Increasing the core size of high-power fiber lasers and amplifiers is highly desired in order to mitigate the unwanted nonlinear optical effects and raise the optical damage threshold. If the core size of conventional index-guided (IG) optical fibers increases, the fiber will become multimode, because it is very difficult to control and fine-tune the index step between the core and cladding to satisfy the single mode condition. Siegman proposed Gain-guided index-antiguided (GG-IAG) fibers as a possible platform for ultra-large-core single-mode operation for lasers and amplifiers.

In this thesis, the beam-quality factor M2 for the fundamental LP01 mode of a step-index fiber with finite and infinite cladding diameter is calculated in the presence of gain as a function of the complex generalized V number. The numerical results agree with analytical work that obtained in our group. It is shown that the M2 value of a single-mode gain-guided fiber laser can be arbitrarily large. The results are important for the interpretation of the beam-quality measurements in recent experiments on single-mode gain-guided fiber lasers. It is also shown that the conventional infinite cladding diameter approximation cannot be used for index-antiguided gain-guided fibers, and the rigorous analysis is required for accurate prediction of the beam quality factor, as reported in recent experimental measurements.

We also highlight the key reasons behind the poor power efficiency observed in multiple experiments in gain guided index-antiguided (GG-IAG) fiber amplifiers and lasers. We show that by properly designing the fiber geometrical characteristics, it is possible to considerably improve the power efficiency of GG-IAG fiber amplifiers in end-pumping schemes.