In the last year, efforts have been directed to reduce the pulse duration of the Dragonfly laser system to below 200fs with a target average power above 1W at a PRF of 200MHz. This paper will describe and discuss the latest efforts undertaken to approach these targets in a laser system operating at 990nm. The relatively low PRF operation of Dragonfly lasers represents a challenging requirement for mode-locked VECSELs due to the very short upper state carrier lifetime, on the order of a few nanoseconds, which can lead to double pulsing behavior in longer cavities as the time between consecutive pulses is increased.
Most notably, the design of the Dragonfly VECSEL cavity was considerably modified and the laser system extended with a nonlinear pulse stretcher and an additional compression stage. The improved Dragonfly laser system achieved pulse duration as short as 130fs with an average power of 0.85W.