We report a highly efficient diode-pumped femtosecond Yb:KYW laser with a compact three-element resonator. Near-transform-limited pulses of 107fs duration at a centre wavelength of 1056nm are produced at a pulse repetition frequency of 294MHz by utilising soft-aperture Kerr-lens mode locking. The femtosecond operation had a mode-locking threshold at a pump power of 250mW and the laser was tunable from 1042nm to 1075nm. The optical-to-optical conversion efficiency exceeded 50% in this femtosecond-pulse regime.
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