We demonstrate a high-energy femtosecond laser system that incorporates two rapidly advancing technologies: chirally-coupled-core large-mode-area Yb-fiber to ensure fundamental-mode operation and high-dispersion mirrors to enable loss-free pulse compression while preserving the diffraction-limited beam quality. Mode-locking is initiated by a saturable absorber mirror and further pulse shortening is achieved by nonlinear polarization evolution. Centered at 1045 nm with 39-MHz repetition rate, the laser emits 25-nJ, positively chirped pulses with 970-mW average power. 6 bounces from double-chirped-mirrors compress these pulses down to 80 fs, close to their transform-limited duration. The loss-free compression gives rise to a diffraction-limited optical beam (M2 = 1.05).
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