We present a source of high power femtosecond pulses at 1550 nm with compressed pulses at the end of a single mode fiber (SMF) pigtail. The system generates 34 femtosecond pulses at a repetition rate of 46 MHz, with average powers greater than 400 mW. The pulses are generated in a passively modelocked, erbium-doped fiber laser, and amplified in a short, erbium-doped fiber amplifier. The output of the fiber amplifier consists of highly chirped picosecond pulses. These picosecond pulses are then compressed in standard single mode fiber. While the compressed pulses in the SMF pigtail do show a low pedestal that could be avoided with the use of bulk-optic compression, the desire to compress the pulses in SMF is motivated by the ability to splice the single mode fiber to a nonlinear fiber, for continuum generation applications. We demonstrate that with highly nonlinear dispersion shifted fiber (HNLF) fusion spliced directly to the amplifier output, we generate a supercontinuum spectrum that spans more than an octave, with an average power 400 mW. Such a high power, all-fiber supercontinuum source has many important applications including frequency metrology and bio-medical imaging.
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