The authors report on a simple and easy-to-use GHz amplified femtosecond laser source. The laser source is based on a passively mode-locked oscillator with a near GHz repetition rate. GHz pulses are then selected, and the obtained bursts of pulses are further amplified in a high-power amplifier chain. The presented GHz femtosecond laser source is used with a galvanometric scanner to perform ablation experiments on copper, aluminum, and stainless steel. Specific ablation rates of 0.7, 2.3, and 1.4 (mm3/min)/W are reached. The role of the important experimental parameters, such as the number of subpulses in the burst, is highlighted. Thanks to a specific ablation scheme in the GHz mode, the ablation efficiency is then comparable to the case of single nanosecond pulses, but with the usual quality of femtosecond processing.

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