Abstract

We describe efficient continuous-wave (cw) and cw mode-locked operations of a Cr3+:LiCAF laser, pumped by inexpensive single spatial mode laser diodes. Up to 280mW of cw output power was obtained with 570mW of absorbed pump power, with a corresponding slope efficiency of 54%. Continuous tuning between 765 and 865nm 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 72fs (FWHM) duration pulses, and 1.4nJ pulse energy, at an average output power of 178mW. Electrical to optical conversion efficiencies of 7.8% in mode-locked operation and 12.2% in cw operation were demonstrated.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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