A new self-mode-locked ring-cavity Ti:sapphire laser is described that is self-mode locked in both unidirectional and bidirectional operations. We found that clockwise and counterclockwise pulses collide with each other at the Ti:sapphire rod when the laser is mode locked in a bidirectional operation. Spectrum narrowing and pulse broadening were found in bidirectional rather than unidirectional mode-locked operation. This is explained by the performance of a transient grating in the gain medium that restricts oscillation to a narrow spectral range.
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