Strain-compensated double InGaAs quantum-well saturable Bragg reflectors (SBR’s) with high damage thresholds have been developed for use as mode-locking elements in high-average-power neodymium lasers. Nd:YVO<sub>4</sub> lasers have been developed with these new SBR’s, which produce transform-limited pulses of 21-ps duration at 90 MHz and an average power of 20 W in a diffraction-limited output beam. The peak pulse power at an output power of 20 W was 10.6 kW. A comparison of the operating parameters of strained single and strain-compensated double-well SBR’s indicates that the damage threshold increased by a factor of at least 2–3. Long cavity laser variants were investigated to assess the limitations of further power scaling. At a repetition frequency of 36-MHz stable mode-locked pulses with peak pulse powers of 24.4 kW and pulse energies of 0.6 μJ could be generated.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(160.6000) Materials : Semiconductor materials
D. Burns, M. Hetterich, A. I. Ferguson, E. Bente, M. D. Dawson, J. I. Davies, and S. W. Bland, "High-average-power (>20-W) Nd:YVO4 lasers mode locked by strain-compensated saturable Bragg reflectors," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 17, 919-926 (2000)