The development of low-cost and potentially compact femtosecond laser amplifiers is discussed. A tunable femtosecond solid-state amplifier system pumped by only 3 W of 488 nm argon ion radiation has been demonstrated to deliver microjoule pulses at repetition rates up to ~ 20 kHz, with a maximum pulse energy of 14 μJ obtained at 5 kHz. The first all-solid-state, tunable, diode-pumped Cr:LiSAF regenerative amplifier, which amplifies femtosecond pulses to energies exceeding 1 μJ at up to 16 kHz repetition rate, is also reported.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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