Abstract

By using a bulk InGaAsP saturable absorber, we passively mode lock a KCl FA(Tl) color-center laser in a resonator configuration where the gain material is placed in a main cavity and the saturable absorber is placed in a weakly coupled external cavity. We obtain self-starting and self-stabilized resonant passive mode-locked laser operation, either with pulses as short as ~320 fs or average output power as high as ~380 mW. The pulse width-bandwidth product is ~0.47, with pulse energies of as much as 2.5 nJ. By temperature tuning the saturable absorber band edge, we realize laser operation with similar performance over the wavelength range of 1.50–1.55 μm. When compared with mode-locked KCl FA(Tl) laser operation, where both the gain material and the saturable absorber are placed in a common single cavity, the resonant passive mode-locking technique yields pulses with only moderately increased widths (by ~50 fs) but significantly higher energies (by a factor of ~4).

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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