Submonolayer Quantum-Dot Based Saturable Absorber for Femtosecond Pulse Generation


Semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors (SESAMs) enable passive modelocking of several ultrafast solid-state lasers. Conventionally, SESAMs in the 1-µm wavelength range have employed InGaAs quantum wells (QWs) as absorbers. We demonstrate here a SESAM based on InAs/GaAs submonolayer quantum dots (SML QDs) capable of generating femtosecond pulses by passively modelocking a vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL). Structural measurements are carried out to verify the quality and composition of the QDs. Modelocking experiments with a VECSEL and the QD SESAM in a ring cavity configuration yield pulses as short as 185 fs at 1025 nm. Compared to a traditional QW absorber, SML QD SESAMs exhibit ~ 25% faster recovery times. This also translates to slower power degradation rates or higher damage thresholds in SML QD SESAMs.

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Data Availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This work was performed, in part, at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. G.T.W. acknowledges funding from Sandia’s LDRD Program. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC., a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under Contract:DE-NA0003525. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. DOE or the United States Government. Los Alamos National Laboratory, an affirmative action equal opportunity employer, is managed by Triad National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s NNSA, under Contract 89233218CNA000001.

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Addamane, S.J., Laurain, A., Baker, C.W. et al. Submonolayer Quantum-Dot Based Saturable Absorber for Femtosecond Pulse Generation. Journal of Elec Materi (2021).

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  • Femtosecond pulse
  • modelocked laser
  • submonolayer quantum dot
  • saturable absorber
  • ultrafast laser