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Mode-locked laser cavities with a single prism for dispersion compensation

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Abstract

We demonstrate the use of a single prism for adjustable dispersion compensation in a mode-locked laser cavity, instead of the standard approach with a prism pair. A simple model based on the prism-pair configuration is presented to determine the group-velocity dispersion by use of ray optics to trace the wavelength-dependent optical axes through the cavity. We experimentally demonstrated this concept with a passively mode-locked diode-pumped Nd:glass laser producing 200-fs pulses with a 200-mW average output power, using only one intracavity prism. The advantages of such a cavity design are simple alignment, reduced loss, and lossless wavelength tunability This technique can be generalized to other angularly dispersive elements such as prismatic output couplers.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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