Carrier-envelope offset frequency stabilization of a thin-disk laser oscillator operating in the strongly self-phase modulation broadened regime
Optics Express, Optical Society of America, 2018/26/22/28461-28468
We demonstrate the carrier-envelope offset (CEO) frequency stabilization of a Kerr lens mode-locked Yb:Lu<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> thin-disk laser oscillator operating in the strongly self-phase modulation (SPM) broadened regime. This novel approach allows overcoming the intrinsic gain bandwidth limit and is suited to support frequency combs from sub-100-fs pulse trains with very high output power. In this work, strong intra-oscillator SPM in the Kerr medium enables the optical spectrum of the oscillating pulse to exceed the bandwidth of the gain material Yb: Lu<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> by a factor of two. This results in the direct generation of 50-fs pulses without the need for external pulse compression. The oscillator delivers an average power of 4.4 W at a repetition rate of 61 MHz. We investigated the cavity dynamics in this regime by characterizing the transfer function of the laser output power for pump power modulation, both in continuous-wave and mode-locked operations. The cavity dynamics in mode-locked operation limit the CEO modulation bandwidth to ~10 kHz. This value is sufficient to achieve a tight phase-lock of the CEO beat via active feedback to the pump current and yields a residual in-loop integrated CEO phase noise of 197 mrad integrated from 1 Hz to 1 MHz.
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