Abstract

Mode locking of solid-state lasers using metal nanocomposites as slow saturable absorbers (SAs) is studied theoretically. The derived equation for the transient nonlinear response of metal nanocomposites is based on the semiclassical two-temperature model. The model is confirmed experimentally by pump-probe measurements on Au nanoparticles (NPs). The theory was applied to study passive mode locking of a solid-state laser containing Au NPs as SA in the green spectral range. Pulse durations as short as 100 fs are predicted, and design criteria of metal NP SAs are derived.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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