Abstract

We demonstrate RF sputtered, non-epitaxially-grown semiconductor nanocrystallite-doped silica films for mode locking a Cr:forsterite laser. We controlled the size and the optical properties of the nanocrystallites by varying the ratio of InAs to SiO2 during fabrication. Femtosecond pump–probe measurements were performed to characterize the nonlinear optical properties of these films, revealing their lower saturation fluences. Using the InAs-doped silica films as saturable absorbers permitted self-starting Kerr-lens mode locking (KLM), generating pulses of 25-fs duration with 91-nm spectral bandwidth at 1.3 µm. We also describe saturable-absorber mode-locked operation without KLM and investigate its dependence on intracavity dispersion.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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