We report on a high-gain diode pumped ytterbium-doped fiber amplifier system delivering pulse energies in the 100 µJ range at high repetition rates (32 kHz) with nearly diffraction limited beam quality (M2 ≈ 1.7) at a 1060 nm center wavelength. Femtosecond seed laser pulses are stretched in a commercially available singlemode fiber and compressed after amplification to subpicosecond pulse duration. Power scaling up to several ml pulse energy, beam quality and limitations due to nonlinear effects using large-core-area and large-mode-area fibers will be discussed.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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