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Properties of a microjoule-class fiber oscillator mode-locked with a SESAM

: Lecaplain, C.; Ortac, B.; Machinet, G.; Boullet, J.; Baumgartl, M.; Schreiber, T.; Cormier, E.; Hideur, A.


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-; Optical Society of America -OSA-, Washington/D.C.:
European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics and 12th European Quantum Electronics Conference, CLEO Europe/EQEC 2011. Vol.1 : 22 - 26 May 2011, Munich, Germany
New York, NY: IEEE, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4577-0533-5
ISBN: 978-1-4577-0532-8
European Quantum Electronics Conference (EQEC) <12, 2011, Munich>
European Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO Europe) <2011, Munich>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IOF ()

Energy scaling of ultrafast Yb-doped fiber oscillators has experienced rapid progress largely driven by many applications that require high average power femtosecond pulses. The fundamental challenge for ultrafast fiber lasers relies on the control of excessive nonlinearity, which limits pulse energy. The development of all-normal dispersion laser cavities based on large-mode-area photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) has enabled significant energy scaling [1-3]. In particular, up to microjoule energy levels have been achieved from rod-type fiber-based oscillators [2-3]. In such lasers, pulse shaping is dominated by the strength of the mode-locking mechanism which determines the pulse properties. In this contribution, we report the generation of high-energy sub-picosecond pulses from a highly normal dispersion fiber laser featuring an Yb-doped rod-type PCF and a large-mode-area PCF [Fig.1(a)]. Passive mode-locking is achieved using saturable absorber mirrors (SAMs). We study t he influence of the SAM parameters on performances obtained in this new class of fiber oscillators. The structures exhibit 20 % modulation depths and 500 fs relaxation time with resonant and antiresonant designs. The antiresonant SAM structures ensure absorption bandwidths 45 nm while the resonant structures exhibit 20 nm bandwidths. Stable mode locking with average powers as high as 15 W at 15 MHz repetition rate, corresponding to microjoule energy level are obtained with all the structures. However, pulse properties and pulse shaping mechanism distinguish between resonant and antiresonant designs. Using a broadband antiresonant SAM leads to generation of highly-chirped pulses with 30 ps duration and 10 nm spectral width [Fig.1(b)]. The output pulses are extra-cavity dechirped down to 550 fs duration. By increasing the strength of the mode-locking mechanism through the combination of the SAM with the NPE process, we obtain shorter pulses with slightly boarder spectra. Indeed, the output pulse durat