, Volume 96, Issue 1, pp 5-10
Date: 05 Mar 2009

Femtosecond 5-W Yb:KGW slab laser oscillator pumped by a single broad-area diode and its application as supercontinuum source

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We demonstrate a novel and very simple design for an efficient high-power femtosecond Yb:KGW slab laser oscillator. The laser is capable of producing output powers of more than 5 W at 44-MHz repetition rate and pulse widths as short as 161 fs with a nearly diffraction limited beam and an optical-to-optical efficiency of more than 28%. The laser is pumped by a single broad-area laser diode and employs simple pump optics consisting of three lenses. The laser output power is distributed between two beams and single or combined outputs are discussed. In combination with a tapered fiber the laser was used to generate femtosecond supercontinua with up to 1.3-W average power and spectra spanning from 420 to over 1750 nm.