A regeneratively initiated self-mode-locked chromium-doped forsterite laser operated at 3.5 °C is described. By employing intracavity negative-group-velocity dispersion compensation, nearly transform-limited femtosecond pulses of 48-fs (FWHM) duration were generated with average TEM00 output powers of 380 mW at 1.23 μm. Regenerative initiation provides improvement in the output stability and ease of operation compared with fixed-frequency acousto-optic modulators. By tuning the mode-locked laser in the range 1.21–1.26 μm, estimated values for forsterite dispersion constants have also been obtained for the first time to our knowledge. The demonstrated power and stability open the door to applications such as efficient second-harmonic generation.
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