Abstract

We describe a mode-locked, diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser with a very long optical cavity operating at 1064 nm. High-modulation, InGaAs quantum-well, semiconductor saturable-absorber mirrors were used for passive mode locking, providing a stable train of 13-ps pulses. A novel zero-q-transformation multipass cell provided a variable-length optical cavity as much as 100 m long. The output beam had M2<1.1 at average powers of 4.1, 3.9, and 3.5 W at repetition rates of 4.1, 2.6, and 1.5 MHz, respectively. To the best of our knowledge the last of these is the lowest repetition rate ever generated directly from a mode-locked nonfiber solid-state laser without cavity dumping.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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