Significant progress has been made over the last year towards generating frequency combs using VECSELs. Here, I will discuss recent progress made generating < 4kW peak power femtosecond pulse VECSELs, where we have achieved 3.3 W average power with 400 fs pulse duration at 1.7 GHz repetition rate. This has been achieved by exploiting the rapid power scaling progress made in the field of CW VECSELs . The gain structure used here is grown and processed by the University of Marburg, and the window layer is etched for anti-resonance to increase the gain bandwidth and reduce the dispersion . We have used this to generate supercontinuum, achieving 45 % throughput in a 2.2 micron core photonic crystal fiber when the VECSEL produced 1 W average output power. A continuum with a width of 175 nm is generated. At higher average powers heating of the fiber tip reduces coupling efficiency which limits the supercontinuum bandwidth and we will discuss measures to avoid this. Finally, I will outline approaches to further reduce the pulse length, whilst maintaining the average power, to a point where generating coherent octave spanning supercontinuum, suitable for F-2F stabilization should become a reality.
Keith G. Wilcox,
"Towards VECSEL frequency combs", Proc. SPIE 8606, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) III, 860607 (18 February 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2002297; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2002297