We assess different power limits of cladding-pumped fiber lasers. Despite recent advances in pump sources, these are still primarily limited by available pump power. We find that it should be possible to reach output powers beyond 1 kW in single-mode ytterbium doped fiber lasers. Experimentally, we have realized an ytterbium-doped fiber laser with 272 W of output power at 1080 nm, with an M-value of 2.0. We believe these are the highest-power ytterbium and erbium-ytterbium fiber lasers ever reported
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