It is experimentally shown that pulse-to-pulse instabilities in the output of Kerr lens mode-locked Ti:sapphire lasers are usual and that they can affect some of the pulse variables (e.g., the spot size) and not others (e.g., pulse duration and energy). These instabilities are not detectable in the averaged signals (such as the autocorrelation of the pulse) that are customarily used for controlling the laser. But, if they are present but are disregarded, these instabilities have undesirable consequences in almost any application. A simple way to detect and eliminate the instabilities is described.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
Marcelo G. Kovalsky, Alejandro A. Hnilo, and Carlota M. F. González Inchauspe, "Hidden instabilities in the Ti:sapphire Kerr lens mode-locked laser," Opt. Lett. 24, 1638-1640 (1999)