Abstract

We describe the generation of enhanced pulse energies using a multipass-cavity (MPC) Cr3+:LiCAF laser, pumped by inexpensive, single spatial mode laser diodes. A semiconductor saturable absorber was used for stable mode-locked operation. The MPC reduced the pulse repetition rate to the 10MHz level, scaling pulse energies and intensities. With only 540mW of absorbed pump power, 98fs pulses with energies of 9.9nJ and peak powers of 101kW, corresponding to 95mW of average power at a repetition rate of 9.58MHz, were generated. By increasing the intracavity negative dispersion, 310fs pulses with energies of 15.2nJ and peak powers of 49kW, corresponding to 160mW of average power at 10.51MHz repletion rate, were also generated. These results demonstrate that low-cost MPC Cr3+-doped colquiriite lasers can generate pulse energies and intensities comparable to more expensive Ti:sapphire lasers.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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