In this paper we present a review of holmium-doped silica fibre based sources. We discuss recent demonstrations of an efficient cladding-pumped fibre geometry and the impact it has made on the power scaling of these sources. We discuss the wavelength region that is addressable by holmium-doped silica based devices and highlight the advantage over thulium-doped fibres in terms of atmospheric transmission. Finally we review the development and current status of the pulsed and CW operation of holmium fibre sources and discuss the future development potential of sources in the ns-fs pulse-width range.
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