2 µm Femtosecond Fiber Laser

  • Ultrafast <80 fs Pulses
  • High Peak Power: >100 kW
  • Turnkey Operation


2 µm Femtosecond
Fiber Laser

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Application Example:
Pump Laser for MIR Supercontinuum Generation

Supercontinuum Spectrum
Click to Enlarge

The FSL1950F Femtosecond Fiber Laser's high peak power of >100 kW enables a range of nonlinear phenomena. In this example, the laser was used to pump a dispersion-engineered InF3 fiber manufactured by Thorlabs. The InF3 fiber broadens the pump light toward the NIR and MIR regions of the spectrum. The MIR portion consists of a supercontinuum extending past 4.0 µm. An MIR Supercontinuum Source using this technique is available here.

For more details, see Salem R, Jiang Z, Liu D, et al., Opt. Express 2015 Nov 16; 23 (24): 30592 - 30602.

Reza Salem
BU Leader, Fiber Lasers
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GUI of Fiber Laser
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Included GUI for Control of FSL1950F


  • Ultrashort <80 fs Pulses at 1950 nm ± 30 nm Center Wavelength
  • >500 mW Average Output Power, >10 nJ Pulse Energy, and
    50 MHz Repetition Rate
  • All Polarization-Maintaining Fiber Design
  • Reliable Passive Mode-Locking Using a Saturable Absorber
  • Pigtailed, FC/APC-Terminated Delivery Fiber Simplifies Coupling into Free Space
  • SMA Connector Provides Fast Photodiode Output for External Synchronization


  • MIR Supercontinuum Generation
  • MIR Frequency Combs
  • Thulium- or Holmium-Doped Amplifier Seeding
  • Ultrafast Spectroscopy
  • Material Characterization
  • Nonlinear Optics

Thorlabs is pleased to offer a femtosecond fiber laser with emission at 2 µm. With <80 fs pulse widths, >500 mW average output power, and a repetition rate of 50 MHz, the FSL1950F laser enables a wide range of applications, including seeding of thulium-doped amplifier systems, nonlinear optics, and MIR supercontinuum generation (see the Application Example to the right).

This femtosecond fiber laser is based upon an oscillator-amplifier combination that uses only polarization-maintaining fiber, yielding reliable turnkey operation and exceptional long-term reliability. The pulses are delivered through a pigtailed FC/APC-terminated fiber with a nominal length of 12" (30 cm). The laser is controlled using our included Windows®-based GUI (computer not included), which is shown in the screenshot above.

A delivery fiber, which is intended for use with free-space coupling optics such as Thorlabs' Reflective Collimators with Protected Silver Coatings, FiberPorts, and Triplet Collimators, is included on the front panel of the femtosecond fiber laser. Its output pulses are polarized parallel to the fiber alignment key. This delivery fiber should not be connected to another patch cable, since even short lengths of fiber (>5 cm) will significantly alter the pulse characteristics. Because of the high power emitted at the fiber tip, it is important to keep the fiber tip clean using, for example, the FCC-7020 Fiber Connector Cleaner; otherwise dust may burn onto the facet.

For nonlinear applications such as supercontinuum generation and terahertz generation, Thorlabs offers the FSL1550 1550 nm Ultrafast Femtosecond Fiber Laser. This ultrafast fiber laser features ultra-short pulses (<40 fs) in the 1550 nm wavelength band and provides high peak powers with >500 mW average power; see the web presentation for full performance details.

Item # FSL1950F
Center Wavelengtha 1950 nm ± 30 nm
Pulse Width <80 fs (FWHM)
Output Power >500 mW (Average)
Repetition Rate
50 MHz (Nominal)
Pulse Energy >10 nJ
Polarization Extinction Ratiob >15 dB
External Sync Output SMA Connector
Fiber Specifications
Connector 2.0 mm Narrow Key FC/APC
Numerical Aperture (NA) 0.13
Mode Field Diameter ~12 µm
Length 12" (30 cm) [Nominal]
Minimum Bend Radius 6 cm
Jacket Ø3 mm Stainless Steel
Physical Specifications
Laser Head Dimensions 17.46" x 15.80" x 5.60"
(443.5 mm x 401.3 mm x 142.2 mm)
Controller Dimensions 15.68" x 19.00" x 5.24"
(398.3 mm x 482.6 mm x 133.1 mm)
Input Power 100 - 240 V, 50 - 60 Hz
Input Power Consumption 700 W (Max)
Environmental Requirements
Room Temperature Range 17 °C to 25 °C
Room Temperature Stability <3 °C over 24 Hours
  • The source can be customized to provide a center wavelength between
    1920 nm and 2150 nm. Please contact LaserSales@thorlabs.com for more information.
  • The output polarization is parallel to the fiber alignment key.

Laser Warning Label Laser Warning Label

Autocorrelation at 500 mW
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Click for Raw Data
This intensity autocorrelation, taken at the FSL1950F's full output power of 500 mW, demonstrates pulse widths shorter than 100 fs. It is provided as a reference and is not guaranteed.

These plots compare spectra obtained at the full output power of 500 mW and an attenuated output power of 200 mW. The output power was attenuated by reducing the pump current. Because of the intrinsic nonlinearities in the fiber cavity, which are necessary for obtaining high-power femtosecond pulses, the pulse width and spectral shape depend heavily on the desired output power. If your application would benefit from pulses with different temporal or spectral structure, please contact us with your application requirements.

Control Software

Version 1.1.513.51

An installer for the Windows®-based GUI of the FSL1950F Femtosecond Fiber Laser.

Software Download

Laser Safety and Classification

Safe practices and proper usage of safety equipment should be taken into consideration when operating lasers. The eye is susceptible to injury, even from very low levels of laser light. Thorlabs offers a range of laser safety accessories that can be used to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries. Laser emission in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges has the greatest potential for retinal injury, as the cornea and lens are transparent to those wavelengths, and the lens can focus the laser energy onto the retina. 

Laser Glasses Laser Curtains Blackout Materials
Enclosure Systems Laser Viewing Cards Alignment Tools
Shutter and Controllers Laser Safety Signs

Safe Practices and Light Safety Accessories

  • Laser safety eyewear must be worn whenever working with Class 3 or 4 lasers.
  • Regardless of laser class, Thorlabs recommends the use of laser safety eyewear whenever working with laser beams with non-negligible powers, since metallic tools such as screwdrivers can accidentally redirect a beam.
  • Laser goggles designed for specific wavelengths should be clearly available near laser setups to protect the wearer from unintentional laser reflections.
  • Goggles are marked with the wavelength range over which protection is afforded and the minimum optical density within that range.
  • Laser Safety Curtains and Laser Safety Fabric shield other parts of the lab from high energy lasers.
  • Blackout Materials can prevent direct or reflected light from leaving the experimental setup area.
  • Thorlabs' Enclosure Systems can be used to contain optical setups to isolate or minimize laser hazards.
  • A fiber-pigtailed laser should always be turned off before connecting it to or disconnecting it from another fiber, especially when the laser is at power levels above 10 mW.
  • All beams should be terminated at the edge of the table, and laboratory doors should be closed whenever a laser is in use.
  • Do not place laser beams at eye level.
  • Carry out experiments on an optical table such that all laser beams travel horizontally.
  • Remove unnecessary reflective items such as reflective jewelry (e.g., rings, watches, etc.) while working near the beam path.
  • Be aware that lenses and other optical devices may reflect a portion of the incident beam from the front or rear surface.
  • Operate a laser at the minimum power necessary for any operation.
  • If possible, reduce the output power of a laser during alignment procedures.
  • Use beam shutters and filters to reduce the beam power.
  • Post appropriate warning signs or labels near laser setups or rooms.
  • Use a laser sign with a lightbox if operating Class 3R or 4 lasers (i.e., lasers requiring the use of a safety interlock).
  • Do not use Laser Viewing Cards in place of a proper Beam Trap.


Laser Classification

Lasers are categorized into different classes according to their ability to cause eye and other damage. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. The IEC document 60825-1 outlines the safety of laser products. A description of each class of laser is given below:

Class Description Warning Label
1 This class of laser is safe under all conditions of normal use, including use with optical instruments for intrabeam viewing. Lasers in this class do not emit radiation at levels that may cause injury during normal operation, and therefore the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded. Class 1 lasers can also include enclosed, high-power lasers where exposure to the radiation is not possible without opening or shutting down the laser.  Class 1
1M Class 1M lasers are safe except when used in conjunction with optical components such as telescopes and microscopes. Lasers belonging to this class emit large-diameter or divergent beams, and the MPE cannot normally be exceeded unless focusing or imaging optics are used to narrow the beam. However, if the beam is refocused, the hazard may be increased and the class may be changed accordingly.  Class 1M
2 Class 2 lasers, which are limited to 1 mW of visible continuous-wave radiation, are safe because the blink reflex will limit the exposure in the eye to 0.25 seconds. This category only applies to visible radiation (400 - 700 nm).  Class 2
2M Because of the blink reflex, this class of laser is classified as safe as long as the beam is not viewed through optical instruments. This laser class also applies to larger-diameter or diverging laser beams.  Class 2M
3R Class 3R lasers produce visible and invisible light that is hazardous under direct and specular-reflection viewing conditions. Eye injuries may occur if you directly view the beam, especially when using optical instruments. Lasers in this class are considered safe as long as they are handled with restricted beam viewing. The MPE can be exceeded with this class of laser; however, this presents a low risk level to injury. Visible, continuous-wave lasers in this class are limited to 5 mW of output power.  Class 3R
3B Class 3B lasers are hazardous to the eye if exposed directly. Diffuse reflections are usually not harmful, but may be when using higher-power Class 3B lasers. Safe handling of devices in this class includes wearing protective eyewear where direct viewing of the laser beam may occur. Lasers of this class must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock; moreover, laser safety signs should be used, such that the laser cannot be used without the safety light turning on. Laser products with power output near the upper range of Class 3B may also cause skin burns.  Class 3B
4 This class of laser may cause damage to the skin, and also to the eye, even from the viewing of diffuse reflections. These hazards may also apply to indirect or non-specular reflections of the beam, even from apparently matte surfaces. Great care must be taken when handling these lasers. They also represent a fire risk, because they may ignite combustible material. Class 4 lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock.  Class 4
All class 2 lasers (and higher) must display, in addition to the corresponding sign above, this triangular warning sign.  Warning Symbol

Pulsed Laser Emission: Power and Energy Calculations

Determining whether emission from a pulsed laser is compatible with a device or application can require referencing parameters that are not supplied by the laser's manufacturer. When this is the case, the necessary parameters can typically be calculated from the available information. Calculating peak pulse power, average power, pulse energy, and related parameters can be necessary to achieve desired outcomes including:

  • Protecting biological samples from harm.
  • Measuring the pulsed laser emission without damaging photodetectors and other sensors.
  • Exciting fluorescence and non-linear effects in materials.

Pulsed laser radiation parameters are illustrated in Figure 1 and described in the table. For quick reference, a list of equations are provided below. The document available for download provides this information, as well as an introduction to pulsed laser emission, an overview of relationships among the different parameters, and guidance for applying the calculations. 



Period and repetition rate are reciprocal:    and 
Pulse energy calculated from average power:       
Average power calculated from pulse energy:        
Peak pulse power estimated from pulse energy:            

Peak power and average power calculated from each other:
Peak power calculated from average power and duty cycle*:
*Duty cycle () is the fraction of time during which there is laser pulse emission.
Pulsed Laser Emission Parameters
Click to Enlarge

Figure 1: Parameters used to describe pulsed laser emission are indicated in the plot (above) and described in the table (below). Pulse energy (E) is the shaded area under the pulse curve. Pulse energy is, equivalently, the area of the diagonally hashed region. 

Parameter Symbol Units Description
Pulse Energy E Joules [J] A measure of one pulse's total emission, which is the only light emitted by the laser over the entire period. The pulse energy equals the shaded area, which is equivalent to the area covered by diagonal hash marks.
Period Δt  Seconds [s]  The amount of time between the start of one pulse and the start of the next.
Average Power Pavg Watts [W] The height on the optical power axis, if the energy emitted by the pulse were uniformly spread over the entire period.
Instantaneous Power P Watts [W] The optical power at a single, specific point in time.
Peak Power Ppeak Watts [W] The maximum instantaneous optical power output by the laser.
Pulse Width Seconds [s] A measure of the time between the beginning and end of the pulse, typically based on the full width half maximum (FWHM) of the pulse shape. Also called pulse duration.
Repetition Rate frep Hertz [Hz] The frequency with which pulses are emitted. Equal to the reciprocal of the period.

Example Calculation:

Is it safe to use a detector with a specified maximum peak optical input power of 75 mW to measure the following pulsed laser emission?

  • Average Power: 1 mW
  • Repetition Rate: 85 MHz
  • Pulse Width: 10 fs

The energy per pulse:

seems low, but the peak pulse power is:

It is not safe to use the detector to measure this pulsed laser emission, since the peak power of the pulses is >5 orders of magnitude higher than the detector's maximum peak optical input power.

Posted Comments:
kkmion  (posted 2016-09-05 15:46:18.903)
Does this 1.95 µm laser has PZT which can be used to lock the repetition rate?
jlow  (posted 2016-09-09 04:22:08.0)
Response from Jeremy at Thorlabs: We will contact you directly to discuss about this laser.
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FSL1950F Support Documentation
FSL1950F2 µm Femtosecond Fiber Laser
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