, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp 887-892
Date: 14 Jan 2012

Operation of femtosecond Kerr-lens mode-locked Cr:ZnSe lasers with different dispersion compensation methods

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We employed various low-cost dispersion compensation methods to generate femtosecond pulses from a Kerr-lens mode-locked (KLM) Cr:ZnSe laser operating near 2400 nm. Prism pairs made of CaF2 and MgF2 and slabs of BK7 and YAG were tested. Pulses as short as 92 fs were obtained when a CaF2 prism pair was used in the resonator with a 1% output coupler. With a 6% output coupler and CaF2 prism pair, pulse energies as high as 1.8 nJ were obtained. The KLM operating point was further analyzed for different dispersion compensation scenarios by using the soliton area theorem to determine the nonlinear refractive index (n 2) of Cr:ZnSe. Results gave an n 2 value of (1.2±0.2)×10−18 m2/W in agreement with previous reports.