Abstract

We describe a Kerr-lens mode-locked Cr:LiSAF femtosecond laser pumped by the near-diffraction-limited output of a master-oscillator power-amplifier diode laser operating at 672 nm. The mode-locked laser produced bandwidth-limited pulses of 94 fs with an average output power of 50 mW. The amplitude modulation necessary to sustain mode locking was produced by a soft aperture generated within the Cr:LiSAF crystal as a result of the excellent beam quality of the pump. The design of the master-laser power amplifier is outlined.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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