We demonstrate the operation of an ultralow-repetition-rate, high-peak-power, picosecond diode-pumped Nd:YVO <sub>4</sub> passively mode-locked laser oscillator. Repetition rates lower than 1 MHz were achieved with the use of a new design for a multiple-pass cavity and a semiconductor saturable absorber. Long-term stable operation at 1.2 MHz with a pulse duration of 16.3 ps and an average output power of 470 mW, corresponding to 24-kW peak-power pulses, is reported. These are to our knowledge the lowest-repetition-rate high-peak-power pulses ever generated directly from a picosecond laser resonator without cavity dumping.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
D. N. Papadopoulos, *S. Forget, M. Delaigue, F. Druon, F. Balembois, and P. Georges, "Passively mode-locked diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 oscillator operating at an ultralow repetition rate," Opt. Lett. 28, 1838-1840 (2003)