Ultrashort-pulse lasers operating around the 2-μm spectral region are of great interest for applications in time-resolved spectroscopy, nonlinear frequency up-conversion to the mid/far-infrared spectral regions, mid-IR supercontinuum generation, optical communications and photomedicine. Tm3+ doped crystalline gain media represent an attractive option for development of high-power, broadly tunable diode-pumped lasers around 2 μm that can be readily configured for ultrashort pulse generation through appropriate mode locking schemes. The best results in terms of pulse duration have to date been obtained with a Tm:KLu(WO4)2 laser [1] that produced 10-ps pulses at 1944 nm and a Tm:GdLiF4 laser that generated ~ 17-44 ps pulses tuned from 1868 nm to 1926 nm. [2] Here we report, for the first time to our knowledge, a femtosecond Tm3+:KY(WO4)2 (Tm:KYW) laser that operates in the 1985-2065 nm spectral range by incorporating a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror (SESAM)

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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