Modelocked Semiconductor Lasers: Short Pulse, Small Package!

D.J. Derickson, R.J. Helkey, A. Mar, J.G. Wasserbauer, W.B. Jiang and J.E. Bowers

Researchers have long recognized the potential for short pulse generation using the semiconductor laser medium. Soon after room temperature CW operation in semiconductor lasers was obtained, the first reported modelocking results occurred in the early 1970s. Like dye lasers or Ti:sapphire lasers, the gain-bandwidth of semiconductor lasers can span many THz, allowing the generation of femtosecond optical pulses. With the use of semiconductor materials, modelocked lasers are now important in many applications that were previously infeasible or uneconomical.

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