A theoretical investigation of the possibility of achieving self-similar pulse propagation in a solid-state laser is presented. Limited group-velocity dispersion hinders true self-similar pulse evolution, but an intermediate regime that exhibits some of the characteristic features (and offers some of the benefits) of self-similar propagation can be reached. This regime of operation offers the potential to increase the pulse energy by at least an order of magnitude compared to energies obtained in the usual operation of Kerr-lens mode-locked lasers with anomalous dispersion. Ti:sapphire lasers that generate pulse energies as high as one microjoule and peak powers of ~100 MW should be possible based on this mode of operation.
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