Abstract

We present an all-fiber bidirectional passively mode-locked soliton laser with what we believe is a novel cavity configuration. Using a four-port circulator, we incorporate two different semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs) into the laser cavity, which enables bidirectional mode locking. The laser allows the generation of two independent countercirculating mode-locked pulse trains, each with an individual fundamental repetition rate that can be adjusted by varying the SESAM pigtail length. Two countercirculating pulse trains with repetition rates of 21.3 and 15.2MHz are obtained simultaneously. By controlling the intracavity loss imposed on these two pulse trains, either one of the two pulse trains can be switched on or off. The bidirectional operation with other repetition rates is also demonstrated.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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