We report on high-energy ultrashort pulse generation from an all-normal-dispersion large-mode-area fiber laser by exploiting an efficient combination of nonlinear polarization evolution (NPE) and a semiconductor-based saturable absorber mode-locking mechanism. The watt-level laser directly emits chirped pulses with a duration of 1ps and 163nJ of pulse energy. These can be compressed to 77fs, generating megawatt-level peak power. Intracavity dynamics are discussed by numerical simulation, and the intracavity pulse evolution reveals that NPE plays a key role in pulse shaping.
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