We demonstrate what is to our knowledge the first mode-locked Yb:KGd(WO4)2 laser. Using a semiconductor saturable-absorber mirror for passive mode locking, we obtain pulses of 176-fs duration with an average power of 1.1 W and a peak power of 64 kW at a center wavelength of 1037 nm. We achieve pulses as short as 112 fs at a lower output power. The laser is based on a standard delta cavity and pumped by two high-brightness laser diodes, making the whole system very simple and compact. Tuning the laser by means of a knife-edge results in mode-locked pulses within a wavelength range from 1032 to 1054 nm. In cw operation, we achieve output powers as high as 1.3 W.
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