Passively mode-locked fiber lasers cladding pumped by broad-area diode-laser arrays are described. With a dispersion-compenstated erbium–ytterbium fiber oscillator, 200-fs pulses with pulse energies up to 100 pJ are generated at a wavelength of 1560 nm. In a highly dispersive cavity, pulse widths of 3 ps with pulse energies up to 1 nJ are obtained. A saturable absorber is used for pulse startup, whereas nonlinear polarization evolution is exploited for steady-state pulse shaping. An environmentally stable design is ensured by use of a compensation scheme for linear polarization drifts in the cavity.
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