We report on the development of what we consider to be a practical and highly stable stretched-pulse laser based on Yb<sup>3+</sup> -doped silica fiber. The Fabry–Perot cavity uses nonlinear polarization rotation as the mode-locking mechanism, and a semiconductor saturable-absorber mirror to ensure robust self-starting and incorporates a diffraction grating pair to compensate for the normal dispersion of the fiber. Use of a single-mode grating-stabilized telecommunications-qualified pump laser diode ensures reliable, low-noise operation (~0.05% amplitude fluctuations at 10-Hz measurement bandwidth). The laser generates high-quality, 60-pJ pulses of <110-fs duration at a repetition rate of ~54 MHz (3-mW average power).
© 2002 Optical Society of America
L. Lefort, J. H. V. Price, D. J. Richardson, G. J. Spüler, R. Paschotta, U. Keller, A. R. Fry, and J. Weston, "Practical low-noise stretched-pulse Yb3+-doped fiber laser," Opt. Lett. 27, 291-293 (2002)