Multimode Optical Fiber Beam-By-Beam Cleanup

We introduce and experimentally demonstrate the concept of all-optical beam switching in graded-index multimode optical fibers. Nonlinear coupling between orthogonally polarized seed and signal beams permits to control the spatial beam quality at the fiber output. Remarkably, we show that even a few-mode control beam whose power is about ten times lower than that of the total beam may substantially enhance the quality of an intense, highly multimode signal beam. We propose a simple geometrical representation of the beam switching operation, whose validity is quantitatively confirmed by the experimental mode decomposition of the output beam. All-optical switching of multimode beamsmay find important applications in high-power beam delivery and fiber lasers.