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In this paper, single-mode 200-mW laser diodes have been demonstrated to be very effective pump devices for low-power Nd:glass lasers, yielding the remarkable continuous wave (cw) slope efficiency of 46.5% for silicate and 58.2% for phosphate glasses, respectively. Femtosecond operation has been investigated with both semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs) and a single-walled carbon nanotube SAM (SWCNT-SAM). Furthermore, a detailed comparison of the mode-locking performance with Nd:phosphate and Nd:silicate, employing either one of the SA devices is presented. Although not fully optimized for this particular application yet, SWCNT-SAs yielded sub-100-fs pulses for the first time in Nd:glass. With SESAM mode locking and a single-prism resonator for dispersion compensation, pulse duration as short as 92 fs has been measured, whereas shorter pulses down to 80 fs have been obtained with a two-prism resonator. Tuning range as broad as 30 nm and output power up to 55 mW have also been achieved, confirming the effectiveness of the proposed laser architecture.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:18 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2012