Abstract

A fundamental limitation on pulse advance or delay in mode-locked lasers is described by the impulse response of the intracavity bandwidth limitation, which is roughly equal to the inverse bandwidth (1/ωc) in seconds. In sync-pumped and active systems this restricts the allowable range of cavity-length mismatch for proper mode locking, explaining micrometer sensitivities in some cases. The master equation of mode locking cannot predict this behavior, which affects active, passive, and sync-pumped mode-locked lasers. We also note that the intrinsic recovery time of the pulse width τ in a mode-locked laser is (ωcτ/2)2 round trips, where [1 − (ω2/ωc2)] approximates the field response of the intracavity filter.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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