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Diode-pumped passively mode-locked Yb:YLF laser

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We demonstrate passive mode-locking by means of a semi-conductor saturable-absorber mirror in a diode-pumped Yb:YLF laser. We present crystal growth process, spectroscopic measurements, and investigation of mode-locking performance. Pulse trains with minimum duration of 196 fs, average power of 54 mW and a repetition rate of 55 MHz were obtained. The optical spectrum, centered at 1028 nm, has a 7.1-nm bandwidth leading to nearly transform-limited pulses.

©2008 Optical Society of America

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Figures (5)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Room-temperature absorption and emission cross sections of Yb3+ ions in YLF crystal with electric field polarizations (a) Ec, and (b) Ec. Emission cross sections were evaluated with the reciprocity method for wavelengths shorter than 1020 nm and with the β-τ method for wavelengths longer than 1020 nm.
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Gain cross-sections of Yb3+ ions in YLF crystal for inversion parameter β of 0.1, 0.15, 0.2, and 0.25, with electric field polarizations (a) Ec, and (b) Ec.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. Scheme of the mode-locked Yb:YLF laser cavity and pump system. LD1, LD2: laser diodes; F1, F2, F3, F4: lenses; M1, M2: folding mirrors; M3, focusing mirror; M4, M5: chirped mirrors; C: Yb-doped YLF crystal; OC: output coupler; SESAM: semiconductor saturable-absorber mirror.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. Average output power versus incident pump power of the mode-locked Yb:YLF laser with polarization Ec, and output couplings of 1% (squares), and 2% (circles). Mode-locking thresholds are indicated by arrows.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Autocorrelation trace and optical spectrum (inset) of the mode-locked Yb:YLF laser with polarization Ec: (a) 1% output coupler ; (b) 2% output coupler. Sech2- pulse shape is assumed.
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