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Proceedings Paper

Diode-pumped femtosecond solid state lasers based on semiconductor saturable absorbers
Author(s): Daniel Kopf; Th. Straessle; Guang Jun Zhang; Franz X. Kaertner; Ursula Keller; Michael Moser; D. Jubin; Kurt J. Weingarten; Raymond J. Beach; Mark A. Emanuel; Jay A. Skidmore
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Paper Abstract

`Real-world' applications of femtosecond pulses require laser sources that are reliable, compact, and easy-to-use. Diode-pumped lasers are one key step in this direction, and as a next key step we have developed and demonstrated a simple technique using semiconductor saturable absorbers to passively start and stabilize mode-locked lasers. Because the saturable absorber stabilizes soliton modelocking, we achieve self-starting modelocking over a wide cavity stability range, in contrast to KLM, which tends to require critical cavity alignment and is usually not self-starting. We discuss different saturable absorber designs. An A-FPSA is used in a diode-pumped Nd:glass laser (130 fs, 100 mW avg output power) and a Cr:LiSAF laser (45 fs, 80 mW output). A thin saturable absorber design provides self-starting mode- locking over a wavelength range of 30 nm, and a low-loss design supports a record mode- locked output power of 120 mW from a Cr:LiSAF laser. A dispersive saturable absorber mirror design combines both negative dispersion compensation and saturable absorption within one semiconductor device and produces a compact mode-locked Cr:LiSAF laser (160 fs, 25 mW) without the need of prisms for dispersion compensation. Finally, we present an optimized diode-pumped cavity layout for Cr:LiSAF which allows for higher output powers (> 1 W cw).

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 1996
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2701, Generation, Amplification, and Measurement of Ultrashort Laser Pulses III, (8 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.239711
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Kopf, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Th. Straessle, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Guang Jun Zhang, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Franz X. Kaertner, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Ursula Keller, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Switzerland)
Michael Moser, Paul Scherrer Institute (Switzerland)
D. Jubin, Time-Bandwidth Products AG (Switzerland)
Kurt J. Weingarten, Time-Bandwidth Products AG (Switzerland)
Raymond J. Beach, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Mark A. Emanuel, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Jay A. Skidmore, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2701:
Generation, Amplification, and Measurement of Ultrashort Laser Pulses III
William E. White; David H. Reitze, Editor(s)

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