Diode-pumped Yb:phosphate and Yb:silicate glass lasers have been passively mode locked for the first time to the authors’ knowledge. Reliable self-starting mode locking without critical cavity alignment has been achieved with intracavity semiconductor saturable-absorber mirrors and soliton mode locking. We generated pulses as short as 58 fs with the Yb:phosphate laser and 61 fs with the Yb:silicate laser at average output powers of 65 and 53 mW, respectively. The pulse repetition rate was 112 MHz. Additionally, we demonstrated tunability of femtosecond pulses from 1025 to 1065 nm for the Yb:phosphate and from 1030 to 1082 nm for the Yb:silicate glasses. The highest mode-locked output power was 405 mW, with 183-fs pulses from the phosphate glass. The diode pump power was 1.68 W, corresponding to 24% optical-to-optical efficiency. The highest cw output power was 510 mW at the same incident pump power.
© 1998 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article