Abstract

We present a comprehensive growth, spectroscopic, and laser performance investigation of a Yb:LiLuF4 crystal, including CW laser experiments, and, for the first time to the best of our knowledge, mode-locked laser operation. Pumping with two 400 mW, polarization-combined, single-mode fiber-coupled laser diodes, we demonstrated efficient CW emission with 140 mW maximum output power and up to 59% slope efficiency. Using a semiconductor saturable absorber mirror for inducing the mode-locked regime and a pair of fused silica prisms for intracavity group delay dispersion compensation, we obtained soliton mode-locking pulses with 90 fs duration for the emission with polarization parallel to the crystal c-axis and 113 fs for the orthogonal polarization, with average power exceeding 30 mW in both cases at about a 90 MHz repetition rate.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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