We describe efficient continuous-wave (cw) and cw mode-locked operations of a laser, pumped by inexpensive single spatial mode laser diodes. Up to of cw output power was obtained with of absorbed pump power, with a corresponding slope efficiency of 54%. Continuous tuning between 765 and was demonstrated using a fused silica prism. A semiconductor saturable absorber mirror was used to initiate and sustain stable, self-starting, mode-locked operation. In cw mode locking, the laser produced (FWHM) duration pulses, and pulse energy, at an average output power of . Electrical to optical conversion efficiencies of 7.8% in mode-locked operation and 12.2% in cw operation were demonstrated.
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