Abstract

We report on the generation of picosecond pulses at 2 μm directly from a gain-switched discrete-mode diode laser and their amplification in a multistage thulium-doped fiber amplifier chain. The system is capable of operating at repetition rates in the range of 2 MHz–1.5 GHz without change of configuration, delivering high-quality 33 ps pulses with up to 3.5 μJ energy and 100 kW peak power, as well as up to 18 W of average power. These results represent a major technological advance and a 1 order of magnitude increase in peak power and pulse energy compared to existing picosecond sources at 2 μm.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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