Abstract

Broadband Kerr-lens mode locking is demonstrated at greatly reduced mode-locking strength with a gain-matched output coupler that compensates for gain filtering. Already at very low pump powers, slightly above the cw lasing threshold, we are able to initiate robust mode locking and generate <8fs output pulses from a Ti:sapphire laser with good beam quality. Because dielectric coatings offer flexible design capabilities, this approach is applicable to various lasers with different gain media to extract pulses covering the full gain spectrum with minimum saturable absorber action.

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Jung, I.

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Keller, U.

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Appl. Opt. (1)

IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. (1)

U. Keller, K. Weingarten, F. Kärtner, D. Kopf, B. Braun, I. Jung, R. Fluck, C. Hönninger, N. Matuschek, and J. ad Au, IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 2, 435 (1996).
[Crossref]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (3)

Opt. Commun. (1)

E. J. Grace, A. Ritsataki, P. M. W. French, and G. H. C. New, Opt. Commun. 183, 249 (2000).
[Crossref]

Opt. Express (1)

Opt. Lett. (8)

Opt. Quantum Electron. (1)

A. Penzkofer, M. Wittmann, M. Lorenz, E. Siegert, and S. Macnamara, Opt. Quantum Electron. 28, 423 (1996).
[Crossref]

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

(a) Gain profile of Ti:sapphire crystal (dashed black curve), and the designed transmission (solid red curve) and GD (dashed blue curve) of the inverse-gain output coupler. (b) Layer structure of the gain-matched output coupler design. The layers are numbered from top (free space) to bottom (substrate).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Measured beam profile of mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser when operated at (a) center of stability region with gain-matched output coupler and (b) edge of stability region with traditional output coupler without an interference filter and after 10 nm filters centered at 570, 900, and 1140 nm .

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

(a) Intracavity and (b) output optical spectrum generated at different pump power levels.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

(a) Intracavity and output pulse width at different pump power levels (left axis) and the corresponding output power (right axis). (b) Calculated intracavity pulse energy versus intracavity pulse width. Dashed curve shows the pulse width that is inversely proportional to the pulse energy.

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