10 March 2016 Colliding pulse mode-locked VECSEL
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Abstract
Recent development of high power femtosecond pulse modelocked VECSEL with gigahertz pulse repetition rates sparked an increased interest from the scientific community due to the broad field of applications for such sources, such as frequency metrology, high-speed optical communication systems or high-resolution optical sampling. To the best of our knowledge, we report for the first time a colliding pulse modelocked VECSEL, where the VECSEL gain medium and a semiconductor saturable absorber (SESAM) are placed inside a ring cavity. This cavity geometry provides both a practical and an efficient way to get optimum performance from a modelocked laser system. The two counter propagating pulses in our ring cavity synchronize in the SESAM because the minimum energy is lost when they saturate the absorber together. This stronger saturation of the absorber increases the stability of the modelocking and reduces the overall losses of the laser for a given intra-cavity fluence, leading to a lower modelocking threshold. This also allows the generation of fundamental modelocking at a relatively low repetition rate (<GHz) with a higher output power compared to conventional VECSEL cavity. We obtained a total output power of 2.2W with an excellent beam quality, a pulse repetition rate of 1GHz and a pulse duration ranging from 1ps to 3ps. The emitted spectrum was centered at 1007nm with a FWHM of 3.1nm, suggesting that shorter pulses can be obtained with adequate dispersion compensation. The laser characteristics such as the pulse duration and stability are studied in detail.
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Declan Marah, Declan Marah, Alexandre Laurain, Alexandre Laurain, Wolfgang Stolz, Wolfgang Stolz, Stephan Koch, Stephan Koch, Antje Ruiz Perez, Antje Ruiz Perez, John McInerney, John McInerney, Jerome Moloney, Jerome Moloney, "Colliding pulse mode-locked VECSEL", Proc. SPIE 9734, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) VI, 97340W (10 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2212902; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212902
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