A mode-locked laser employs a coupled-polarization scheme for efficient longitudinal pumping by reshaped laser diode bars. One or more dielectric polarizers are configured to reflect a pumping wavelength having a first polarization and to reflect a lasing wavelength having a second polarization. An asymmetric cavity provides relatively large beam spot sizes in gain medium to permit efficient coupling to a volume pumped by a laser diode bar. The cavity can include a collimation region with a controlled beam spot size for insertion of a saturable absorber and dispersion components. Beam spot size is selected to provide stable mode locking based on Kerr lensing. Pulse durations of less than 100 fs can be achieved in Yb:KGW.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC0576RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.