Abstract

A rate equation for pulse energy is obtained from the master equation of mode locking. This rate equation is used to investigate self-starting, steady-state pulse energy, stability, pulse quantization, simultaneous cw and pulse operation, hysteresis in mode locking, multiple-pulse operation, relaxation oscillations, and noise behavior. The theory also provides criteria for low-noise as well as high-power operation. The formulation is applied to both soliton lasers and stretched-pulse lasers, and their operations are compared.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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