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Optica Publishing Group
  • 2017 European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and European Quantum Electronics Conference
  • (Optica Publishing Group, 2017),
  • paper CA_P_33

SESAM-assisted Kerr-lens mode-locked Yb:CaF2 oscillator pumped by a single-mode fiber-coupled laser diode

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Abstract

Femtosecond 1 µm lasers are widely used in numerous scientific and industrial applications [1,2]. Such oscillators are intensively developed and ultrafast sub-100 fs operation has been already demonstrated in several ytterbium-doped active media. One of the most interesting among them and relatively shortly investigated is Yb:CaF2. This is a simple cubic crystal, with very broadband emission spectrum extending over 50 nm [3]. Although the gain bandwidth of the crystal supports generation of ultrashort pulses, design of an appropriate cavity is nontrivial due to a strong tendency for Q-switched mode-locking. The shortest pulse duration achieved with this gain medium so far is 48 fs by exploiting Kerr-lens mode-locking [4]. Until now this regime was demonstrated only with high power pumping due to the relatively low nonlinear refractive index of CaF2. On the other hand, single-mode pumping is beneficial with regard to suppression of parasitic thermal effects while keeping laser setup compact. Recently, an Yb:CaF2 laser emitting 65 fs pulses based on SESAM was demonstrated [5]. Since a low power single-mode diode pumping scheme was employed, only 35 mW of output power was obtained.

© 2017 IEEE

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