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A novel graphene-oxide-based saturable absorber with 12% modulation depth, which is fabricated by the novel vertical evaporation technique, can be used to passively mode locked the Nd:GdVO4 ultrafast laser system. The maximum average output power measured is 1.1 W and it is operating at TEM00 mode. The measured pulse duration and repetition rate are 4.5 ps and 70 MHz, respectively. This low-cost, broadband graphene-oxide-based saturable absorber can potentially be used practically in the high-power mode-locking laser system.