Abstract

Using an erbium-doped fiber laser (EDFL) passively mode locked by a semiconductor saturable absorber, we generate 5.5-ps pulses of a 2.3-nJ/pulse, which are more than three times higher in energy than for other reported EDFL’s. We show that, by introduction of a linear loss element within the cavity, multiple pulsing behavior at high pump powers can be suppressed. We also determine the saturable-absorber characteristics—absorbance versus wavelength near band gap—that are necessary to produce short mode-locked pulses.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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