This paper describes a new class of saturable absorber device based on single-wall carbon nanotube (SWNT)-the saturable absorber incorporating nano tube (SAINT). The device possesses ultrafast optical properties comparable to that of the industrial standard semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM). Passively mode-locked picosecond fiber lasers in different configurations are demonstrated using SAINTs as mode lockers. This is the first demonstration of optical pulsed lasers based on the carbon nanotube technology, and the first practical application of carbon nanotubes in the field of applied optics.
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