Picosecond pulse generation near 1-μm wavelength has been achieved with a Nd:BaY2F8 (Nd:BaYF) laser mode-locked using a single-walled carbon nanotube saturable absorber (SWCNT-SA). The laser was operated at its main 1049-nm transition, generating 8.5-ps pulses with ≈70-mW output power for ≈570-mW absorbed pump power. This is the first demonstration of cw mode-locking in the picosecond regime with Nd-doped crystals and SWCNT-SAs. The requirements on the SWCNT-SA for successful mode-locking in relatively narrow-band neodymium lasers are reviewed and their implications are discussed.
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