Theory of Mode-Locked Lasers Containing a Reverse Saturable Absorber

Donald J. Harter, Yehuda B. Band, Erich P. Ippen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


An analytic solution is presented for mode-locking a laser using a saturable absorber and reverse saturable absorber with long relaxation times compared to the temporal pulse widths. A reverse saturable absorber is a material with an excited-state absorption cross section larger than the ground-state absorption cress section. where increasing the incident light intensity increases the absorption. The reverse saturable absorber plays an important role in mode-locking laser materials where individual pulses cannot saturate the gain. A numerical example of mode-locking a CW alexandrite laser with a reverse saturable absorber and a saturable absorber is presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1219-1228
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1985


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