We present a new Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO) based on collinear, quasi phase-matched interaction in a
periodically poled crystal (PP-crystal) with an integrated extra-cavity prism compressor delivering Signal pulses with
durations as low as 30 fs around 1150 nm center wavelength. The design matching between the Ti:Sapphire pump laser
(Coherent Micra-10 or MiraV10), the PP-crystal and the intra-cavity dispersion compensation of the OPO enables stable
Signal emission covering a spectral region from 1050 nm to 1250 nm with pulse energies exceeding 4.5nJ. Tunability of
the Signal pulses between 1130 nm and 1200 nm is given at reduced bandwidth.
Ultrashort pulse (USP) Ti:Sapphire oscillators are constantly improving in cost, performance, and reliability. These
improvements have been driven in part by improvements in the CW lasers used to pump the Ti:Sapphire gain medium.
Recent development of optically-pumped semiconductor (OPS) lasers heralds a USP pump source that reduces cost and
complexity while maintaining a high standard of performance and reliability. OPS lasers offer significant advantages
with respect to traditional diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) lasers in regards to wavelength flexibility, broad pump
tolerance, efficient spectral and spatial brightness conversion and high power scaling. In this paper, we report the
performance of different types of ultrashort pulse Ti:Sapphire oscillators pumped by OPS lasers: broad bandwidth
(approximately 100 nm) negative dispersion mirror based, broad bandwidth (approximately 100 nm) prism based, and
narrower bandwidth (approximately 10 nm) tunable prism based oscillator. We analyze the impact of multimode spatial
mode operation of the OPS pump laser on the mode quality, bandwidth and intensity noise of the USP oscillator output.
We compare the performance of USP oscillators pumped by multiple transverse mode OPS lasers with traditional single
transverse mode Nd:YVO4 DPSS lasers. We demonstrate excellent regenerative amplifier seeding with the OPS
pumped Ti:Sapphire oscillator.
Cryogenic cooling of Ti:Sapphire is a well known technique for improving its thermal performance. In particular the
improvement in thermal conductivity, temperature dependence of the index of refraction and thermal expansion around
77 K dramatically reduces the thermal lensing. This allows a significant increase in the possible pump power, while
keeping a very good beam quality over a wider range of operation. As an example we demonstrate a single-stage
regenerative amplifier that is capable of delivering compressed output powers of 7.5 W and 11.9 W at 1 and 5 kHz,
respectively, as well as a multi-pass amplifier delivering 13.2 W at 1 kHz.