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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 5 — Mar. 10, 2014
  • pp: 6060–6077

SESAM modelocked Yb:CaGdAlO4 laser in the soliton modelocking regime with positive intracavity dispersion

C. R. Phillips, A. S. Mayer, A. Klenner, and U. Keller  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 5, pp. 6060-6077 (2014)

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We demonstrate femtosecond SESAM modelocking in the near-infrared by using cascaded quadratic nonlinearities (phase-mismatched second-harmonic generation, SHG), enabling soliton modelocking in the normal dispersion regime without any dispersion compensating elements. To obtain large and negative self-phase modulation (SPM) we use an intracavity LBO crystal, whose temperature and angles are optimized with respect to SPM, nonlinear losses, and self-starting characteristics. To support femtosecond pulses, we use the very promising Yb:CaGdAlO4 (CALGO) gain material, operated in a bulk configuration. The LBO crystal provides sufficient negative SPM to compensate for its own GDD as well as the positive GDD and SPM from the gain crystal. The modelocked laser produces pulses of 114 fs at 1050 nm, with a repetition rate of 113 MHz (average output power 1.1 W). We perform a detailed theoretical study of this soliton modelocking regime with positive GDD, which clearly indicates the important design constraints in an intuitive and systematic way. In particular, due to its importance in avoiding multi-pulsed modelocking, we examine the nonlinear loss associated with the cascading process carefully and show how it can be suppressed in practice. With this modelocking regime, it should be possible to overcome the limits faced by current state of the art modelocked lasers in terms of dispersion compensation and nonlinearity management at high powers, suppression of Q-switching in compact GHz lasers, and enabling femtosecond soliton modelocking at very high repetition rates due to the high nonlinearities accessible via cascading combined with eliminating the need for intracavity dispersion compensation.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(140.7090) Lasers and laser optics : Ultrafast lasers
(190.5530) Nonlinear optics : Pulse propagation and temporal solitons

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: January 27, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: February 25, 2014
Published: March 6, 2014

C. R. Phillips, A. S. Mayer, A. Klenner, and U. Keller, "SESAM modelocked Yb:CaGdAlO4 laser in the soliton modelocking regime with positive intracavity dispersion," Opt. Express 22, 6060-6077 (2014)

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