Abstract

We report, for the first time to our knowledge, the demonstration of a graphene supercapacitor as a voltage-controlled saturable absorber for femtosecond pulse generation from a solid-state laser. By applying only a few volts of bias, the Fermi level of the device could be shifted to vary the insertion loss, while maintaining a sufficient level of saturable absorption to initiate mode-locked operation. The graphene supercapacitor was operated at bias voltages of 0.5–1V to generate sub-100 fs pulses at a pulse repetition rate of 4.51 MHz from a multipass-cavity Cr4+:forsterite laser operating at 1255 nm. The nonlinear optical response of the graphene supercapacitor was further investigated by using pump–probe spectroscopy.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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