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The paper deals with spectral and lasing characteristics of thulium-doped optical fibers fabricated by means of two doping techniques, i.e. via a conventional solution-doping method and via a nanoparticle-doping method. The difference in fabrication was the application of a suspension of aluminum oxide nanoparticles of defined size instead of a conventional chloride-containing solution. Samples of thulium-doped silica fibers having nearly identical chemical composition and waveguiding properties were fabricated. The sample fabricated by means of the nanoparticle-doping method exhibited longer lifetime, reflecting other observations and the trend already observed with the fibers doped with erbium and aluminum nanoparticles. The fiber fabricated by means of the nanoparticle-doping method exhibited a lower lasing threshold (by ~20%) and higher slope efficiency (by ~5% rel.). All these observed differences are not extensive and deserve more in-depth research; they may imply a positive influence of the nanoparticle approach on properties of rare-earth-doped fibers for fiber lasers.
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