More and more scientific and industrial applications require the development of efficient femtosecond lasers. Laser systems based on diode-pumped Yb3+-doped bulk materials are very promising in this respect, because of the very simple spectroscopic properties of Yb, its weak quantum defect, and the possibility to use high-power diodes to pump these materials. In order to reach high average powers in the femtosecond regime, two properties are required: a high thermal conductivity to dissipate the pump-induced heat, and a wide emission band to allow short pulse generation. These properties are mutually opposed in tenus of the complexity of the host crystal structure, and a crystal representing a good trade-off must still be found. A newly grown crystal, Yb3+:CAGdAIO4 (CALGO) is very promising in this respect [1], Its high thermal conductivity (> 6.3 W m−1 K−1) allows high power diode-pumping, which was not possible for other crystals exhibiting similar broad emission spectra such as Yb:BOYS or Yb:SYS.

© 2007 IEEE

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