We report what is believed to be the first diode-pumped Yb<sup>3+</sup>: SrY<sub>4</sub>(SiO<sub>4</sub>) <sub>3</sub>O laser. We investigate both the cw and the mode-locked regimes. In the cw regime an average output power of 1.05 W is demonstrated for 3.6 W of incident pump power. In the femtosecond regime a pulse duration of 94 fs for an average power of 110 mW is obtained at a central wavelength of 1068 nm. This is, to our knowledge, the first femtosecond mode-locked oscillator made with an Yb-doped apatitelike crystal. These properties are related to the unique spectroscopic properties of Yb<sup>3+</sup> ions in this atypical apatite-family crystal.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.3480) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, diode-pumped
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(140.5680) Lasers and laser optics : Rare earth and transition metal solid-state lasers
F. Druon, S. Chénais, P. Raybaut, F. Balembois, P. Georges, R. Gaumé, P. H. Haumesser, B. Viana, D. Vivien, S. Dhellemmes, V. Ortiz, and C. Larat, "Apatite-structure crystal, Yb3+:SrY4(SiO4)3O, for the development of diode-pumped femtosecond lasers," Opt. Lett. 27, 1914-1916 (2002)