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Proceedings Paper

First demonstration of passively mode-locked Yb:CaF2 thin-disk laser
Author(s): Benjamin Dannecker; Xavier Délen; Katrin S. Wentsch; Birgit Weichelt; Clemens Hönninger; Andreas Voss; Marwan Abdou Ahmed; Thomas Graf
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Paper Abstract

The need for ultra-short (sub-ps) pulsed laser systems with high power and high energy has advanced the mode-locked Ytterbium-doped thin-disk technology in the last decade. Therefore several research groups have made efforts to explore new laser crystals e.g. Yb:SSO, Yb:CAlGO or Yb:Lu2O3 for the generation of sub-500 fs pulses in thin-disk oscillators. Another promising and known candidate for ultra-short pulsed lasers is Yb:CaF2, which has been so far only used in bulk laser architecture. In this work, we present the first demonstration of a mode-locked Yb:CaF2 laser in thin-disk configuration. The resonator cavity was designed for eight passes through the disk per roundtrip at a repetition rate of 35 MHz. A saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) was used to obtain the soliton mode-locking. We achieved close-to transform-limited pulses with a pulse duration of less than 445 fs and an emission spectral width of 2.6 nm at FWHM (i.e. time-bandwidth product of 0.323). At the average output power of 6.6 W this corresponds to a peak-power of 430 kW and pulse energy of 190 nJ. To the best of our knowledge, this is the highest average output power and pulse energy using Yb:CaF2 as gain material reported to date. Taking into account the dispersion, self-phase modulation, pulse energy, output coupling ratio and laser gain, the pulse-duration estimated from the soliton-equation and our numerical calculations of pulse-propagation is in good agreement with the pulse-duration obtained in the experiment. Higher powers and shorter pulse-durations with this material are the subject of our future investigations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 February 2015
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9342, Solid State Lasers XXIV: Technology and Devices, 93420W (20 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2079086
Show Author Affiliations
Benjamin Dannecker, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Xavier Délen, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Katrin S. Wentsch, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Birgit Weichelt, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Clemens Hönninger, Amplitude Systèmes (France)
Andreas Voss, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Marwan Abdou Ahmed, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)
Thomas Graf, Univ. Stuttgart (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9342:
Solid State Lasers XXIV: Technology and Devices
W. Andrew Clarkson; Ramesh K. Shori, Editor(s)

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