Influence of pump beam shaping and noise on performance of a direct diode-pumped ultrafast Ti:sapphire laser

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Abstract

One of the major factors that limits the widespread use of ultrafast titanium sapphire (Ti:S) lasers in life science is its expensive and complex pump source. Broad area diode laser (BA-DL) based pump sources have high potential to solve this problem, since they are compact, inexpensive and very efficient. However, their non-diffraction limited beam profile makes it challenging to achieve high powers in Kerr-lens mode-locked (KLM) operation of Ti:S lasers. In this work, we show that the ideal way to beam shape two spectrally combined BA-DLs with different beam qualities is to aim for a compromise between matching to the cavity mode diameter and the cavity mode Rayleigh range. We furthermore conclude that the relative intensity noise (RIN) of the BA-DL pumped Ti:S laser, another important parameter for imaging applications, is sufficiently low for a wide range of life science applications. However, for applications that are highly sensitive to noise, new laser diode designs are likely necessary to reduce inherent noise originating within the laser diode.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOptics Express
Volume28
Issue number21
Pages (from-to)31754-31762
ISSN1094-4087
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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