The pulse shape and spectrum of ultrashort-pulse Ti:sapphire mode-locked lasers are explained by a model akin to dispersion-managed pulse propagation of optical communications. The pulse is characterized as a nonlinear Bloch wave in a periodic structure. The ultimate spectral width is limited by dispersion and mirror bandwidth and less strongly by gain filtering. The main role of Kerr-lens mode locking is to provide stability against noise buildup. One-dimensional computer simulations are sufficient to explain the major pulse-shaping dynamics. Results are compared with experiment.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
(140.3430) Lasers and laser optics : Laser theory
(140.3590) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, titanium
(320.5550) Ultrafast optics : Pulses
(320.7090) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast lasers
(320.7160) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast technology
Y. Chen, F. X. Kärtner, U. Morgner, S. H. Cho, H. A. Haus, E. P. Ippen, and J. G. Fujimoto, "Dispersion-managed mode locking," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 1999-2004 (1999)