Femtosecond Kerr-lens mode-locked thin-disk oscillators constitute a peak- and average power scalable oscillator concept. Over last several years, they were developed directly to provide unprecedentedly high average and peak power levels of more than 200 W and more than 50 MW, respectively—the parameter range of more complex amplification systems. These developments were accompanied by many challenges, including the initiation of mode-locking, thermal lensing and the oscillator stability. These challenges were successfully overcome, resulting in a better understanding of power scaling of this technology. We offer an overview over these diverse aspects and show that this technology has a very bright future not only for further power scaling but also in terms of applications. In particular, this type of oscillator can enable a novel class of compact, table-top powerful extreme-ultraviolet and infrared radiation sources paving the way towards new spectroscopic applications.
Part of the book: High Power Laser Systems