Abstract

We demonstrate Kerr lens mode locking of a diode-pumped Nd:YAG laser by using the gain medium as the Kerr medium and no intracavity slit. Kerr self-focusing within the Nd:YAG rod is believed to improve matching between the cavity mode and the aperture created by thermal lens aberration and thereby discriminate against lower (cw) intensities. The laser produces 8.5-ps, 100-MHz pulses with 1 W of average output power and a 35% slope efficiency. Kerr lens mode locking is initiated by slight mechanical perturbation.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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