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Simplified cavity designs for efficient and compact femtosecond Cr: LiSAF lasers

Agate, B. and Kemp, A. and Brown, C.T.A. and Sibbett, W. (2002) Simplified cavity designs for efficient and compact femtosecond Cr: LiSAF lasers. Optics Communications, 205 (1-3). pp. 207-213. ISSN 0030-4018

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We describe efficient, compact femtosecond Cr:LiSAF lasers with a reduced component count that combine greater simplicity with improved performance. We observe transform-limited pulses as short as 136 fs centered on 859 nm at a 470 MHz repetition rate. 20 mW of average output power has been achieved for less than 100 mW of incident diode-laser pump power - an optical-to-optical conversion efficiency of over 20%. We have demonstrated an entirely portable, self-contained, battery-powered version of this laser on a 22x28cm2 breadboard, with an electrical-to-optical efficiency of almost 4%. Using four pump laser diodes, we have also achieved operational regimes providing either gigahertz repetition rates or kilowatt peak powers.