We report in situ characterization of a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM) in an operating Yb:KGW mode-locked laser. The technique may be described as a pump–probe experiment in which the intracavity beam acts as a pump beam while the output of the same laser is used as a test beam for the SESAM reflectivity. At zero delay, the probe pulse overlaps in time with the subsequent intracavity pulse. The method is an alternative to standard pump–probe measurements in situations where the intracavity parameters such as energy fluence onto the SESAM, pulse length, and center wavelength cannot be achieved simultaneously with available lasers.
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