Diode-pumped solid-state lasers provide a practical, compact, and high power laser source which can be incorporated into optoelectronic and optical communication systems. Average powers of =50W have been demonstrated using diode-pumped solid-state lasers [1]. Average-power requirements on optoelectronic systems are typically > 1W [2], In addition, pulsed (i.e. mode-locked) optical power supplies are more desirable for reducing switching energies, eliminating accumulated clock skews, and increasing device speed (due to higher saturation intensities) [2, 3], Besides the power requirement, the laser should have a diffraction limited beam for minimum focused spot size, small wavelength variations, and synchronization to other optical or electronic oscillators [2]. Mode-locked diode-pumped solid-state lasers can fulfill all these requirements. In contrast, the output power of active or passive mode- locked diode lasers is typically low, ≤ 1 mW, because the laser must be operated near threshold to generate short pulses. Furthermore, for reliability, synchronization, and power arguments it can be advantageous to use one larger optical power supply instead of many distributed sources in the system. A single optical power supply can be monitored and easily replaced if it degrades or fails in the field.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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