We obtained 485-fs pulses near 2.6 μm by passively mode-locking a KCl:Li color center laser (CCL) with a HgCdTe multiple quantum well (MQW) saturable absorber. These femtosecond pedestal free pulses are, to our knowledge, the shortest pulses generated directly from a laser in this wavelength region. Our passive mode-locking of KCl:Li generates much shorter pulses than previous reported synchronously pumped methods that yielded 7-10-ps pulses.1 Also these results show that the semiconductor passive mode-locking technique previously applied to the NaCl CCL system2 can be extended to different wavelength ranges and applied to different material and laser systems.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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