Abstract

We introduce a new low-loss fast intracavity semiconductor Fabry–Perot saturable absorber operated at antiresonance both to start and sustain stable mode locking of a cw-pumped Nd:YLF laser. We achieved a 3.3-ps pulse duration at a 220-MHz repetition rate. The average output power was 700 mW with 2 W of cw pump power from a Ti:sapphire laser. At pump powers of less than 1.6 W the laser self-Q switches and produces 4-ps pulses within a 1.4-μs Q-switched pulse at an ≈150-kHz repetition rate determined by the relaxation oscillation of the Nd:YLF laser. Both modes of operation are stable. In terms of coupled-cavity mode locking, the intracavity antiresonant Fabry–Perot saturable absorber corresponds to monolithic resonant passive mode locking.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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