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Atomic layer graphene as saturable absorber for ultrafast pulsed lasers

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Preprint
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Submission Date
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arXiv ID: 0910.5820
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arXiv
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Abstract

The optical conductance of monolayer graphene is defined solely by the fine structure constant. The absorbance has been predicted to be independent of frequency. In principle, the interband optical absorption in zero-gap graphene could be saturated readily under strong excitation due to Pauli blocking. Here, we demonstrate the use of atomic layer graphene as saturable absorber in a mode-locked fiber laser for the generation of ultrashort soliton pulses (756 fs) at the telecommunication band. The modulation depth can be tuned in a wide range from 66.5% to 6.2% by varying the thickness of graphene. Our results suggest that ultrathin graphene films are potentially useful as optical elements in fiber lasers. Graphene as a laser mode locker can have many merits such as lower saturation intensity, ultrafast recovery time, tunable modulation depth and wideband tuneability.

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