Abstract

Calcium fluoride has raised a great interest in the laser community since its revival in 2004 [1,2] when it has been doped with ytterbium ions. Thanks to its broad emission bandwidth, its good thermal properties and its strong energy-storage ability, Yb:CaF2 is particularly suitable for high-energy, high-power femtosecond laser systems [2,3]. Nevertheless, due to the very long lifetime of Yb:CaF2 and its low nonlinear refractive index (1.6 10-20 m2/W), the stable sub-100-fs mode-locking operation (ML) of Yb:CaF2 remains challenging and very few works have reported operation in this regime [4]. Up to now, the ML of Yb:CaF2 oscillators has only been achieved using a saturable absorber mirror to produce stable femtosecond pulses. We report, to the best of our knowledge, on the first demonstration of sub-70 fs pulses Kerr Lens Mode locked oscillator in Yb:CaF2 by means of a high-brightness pump source [5]

© 2013 IEEE

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