Femtosecond nonlinear pulse compression of a wavelength-tunable, backward dark-optical-comb injection harmonic-mode-locked semiconductor optical amplifier based fiber laser (SOAFL) is demonstrated for the first time. Shortest mode-locked SOAFL pulsewidth of 15 ps at 1 GHz is generated, which can further be compressed to 180 fs after linear chirp compensation, nonlinear soliton compression, and birefringent filtering. A maximum pulsewidth compression ratio for the compressed eighth-order SOAFL soliton of up to 80 is reported. The pedestal-free eighth-order soliton can be obtained by injecting the amplified pulse with peak power of 51 W into a 107.5m-long single-mode fiber (SMF), providing a linewidth and time-bandwidth product of 13.8 nm and 0.31, respectively. The tolerance in SMF length is relatively large (100–300 m) for obtaining <200fs SOAFL pulsewidth at wavelength tuning range of 1530–1560 nm. By extending the repetition frequency of dark-optical-comb up to 10 GHz, the mode-locked SOAFL pulsewidth can be slightly shortened from 5.4 ps to 3.9 ps after dispersion compensating, and further to 560 fs after second-order soliton compression. The lasing linewidth, time-bandwidth product and pulsewidth suppressing ratio of the SOAFL soliton become 4.5 nm, 0.33, and 10, respectively.
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