Impact of dispersion on pulse dynamics in chirped-pulse fiber lasers
We report on a systematic study of an environmentally stable mode-locked Yb-doped fiber laser operating in the chirped-pulse regime. The linear cavity chirped-pulse fiber laser is constructed with a saturable absorber mirror as nonlinear mode-locking mechanism and a nonlinearity-free transmission-grating-based stretcher/compressor for dispersion management. Mode-locked operation and pulse dynamics from strong normal to strong anomalous total cavity dispersion in the range of +2.5 to -1.6 ps(2) is experimentally studied. Strongly positively chirped pulses from 4.3 ps (0.01 ps(2)) to 39 ps (2.5 ps(2)) are obtained at normal net-cavity dispersion. In the anomalous dispersion regime, the laser generates average soliton feature negatively chirped pulses with autocorrelation pulse durations from 0.8 ps (-0.07 ps(2)) to 3.9 ps (-1.6 ps(2)). The lowered peak power due to the pulse stretching allows one to increase the double pulse threshold. Based on the numerical simulation, different regimes of mode locking are obtained by varying the intra-cavity dispersion, and the characteristics of average soliton, stretched-pulse, wave-breaking-free and chirped-pulse regimes are discussed.