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We demonstrate ultrashort pulse generation from a fluoride fiber laser co-doped with holmium and praseodymium. To date, the majority of work focused on short pulse generation from this class of fiber laser has employed loss modulators in the cavity, both real and artificial. In this Letter, we alternatively employ a frequency shifting element: an acousto-optic modulator (AOM) in the cavity. This results in mode-locked output of sub-5 ps pulses with 10 nJ of energy at a center wavelength of 2.86 μm and a pulse repetition frequency of 30.1 MHz, equating to a peak power of 1.9 kW. Additional experimental investigation of the relationship between frequency shift and cavity round trip offer insight into the complex underlying dynamics. As a complementary mode-locking technique to conventional loss modulation, this method of pulse-formation may greatly expand the design flexibility of pulsed mid-infrared fiber lasers.
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