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Optical-Kerr-enhanced mode locking of a lamp-pumped Nd:YAG laser

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2 Author(s)
Joon Chung ; Edward L. Ginzton Lab., Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Siegman, A.E.

We discuss the potential use of three new mode-locking techniques, namely additive-pulse mode locking, the combination of self-phase modulation and group velocity dispersion, and Kerr lens mode locking, as simple retrofits to enhance the performance of conventional multi-watt lamp-pumped Nd:YAG lasers. Of the three, we discard the APM technique because of structural and power-handling difficulties. We then discuss theoretically and confirm experimentally that the combination of SPM plus gain dispersion can lead to pulsewidth reduction by a factor of 2 to 2.5 but not more, in agreement with the analysis of Haus and Silberberg. Finally, while KLM can be very effective as a fast saturable absorber in many types of lasers, we find that its application to lamp-pumped YAG lasers is frustrated by instabilities in thermal focusing and transverse mode position characteristic of this type of laser

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Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 3 )