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Picosecond tunable mode locking of a Cr 2 + :ZnSe laser with a nonlinear mirror

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Abstract

We report on a nonlinear mirror (NLM) scheme that enables, for the first time to the best of our best knowledge, tunable mode locking of a Cr2+:ZnSe laser in the picosecond regime. The NLM—used as the output coupler of the laser cavity—consists of a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) crystal with a fan-out grating coupled with a dichroic mirror and a wedged dispersive YAG plate. The Cr2+:ZnSe laser, pumped by a CW thulium-doped fiber laser, delivers 85ps pulses at a repetition rate of 220MHz with a 300mW average power. Thanks to the use of a fan-out PPLN crystal, we benefit from the wide tunability of the Cr2+:ZnSe laser and achieve mode locking over the whole 2.442.55μm range while maintaining a narrow-linewidth emission suitable for time-resolved nonlinear spectroscopy applications.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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