A new model is constructed that describes the operation of dual-frequency, pulsed mode-locked laser cavities. The model, which is a combination of dual-channel interactions in the canonical master mode-locking model subject to three different gain models that account for both self- and cross-saturation effects, results in mode-locking dynamics that qualitatively describe the observed experimental dual-frequency laser operation. Specifically, the combination of self- and cross saturation in the gain allows for mode locking at two frequencies simultaneously, which can be of significantly different energies and pulsewidths. The model gives a framework for understanding the operation and stability of the increasingly important and timely technology of dual- and multifrequency mode-locked laser cavities.
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