Abstract

The initial transient regime of pulse buildup and temporal compression of synchronously pumped dye lasers was investigated under conditions of both low and high gain by using cw and mode-locked and Q-switched and mode-locked pump sources, respectively. The pulse evolution as a function of the number of synchronized pumping events was followed by a picosecond, variably triggered streak camera. A theoretical analysis is presented that includes the effect of excited-state absorption. For cw mode-locked pumping, the predictions of this theory are shown to be nearly perfect, whereas in the Q-switched mode-locked case a pronounced thermal lens effect is found to be present.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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