Passive stable mode locking of a pulsed Nd:YAG laser was achieved with a long-decay-time saturable absorber in a coupled-cavity longitudinal scheme. In this configuration the saturable absorber (LiF:F2˜) also behaves as an active medium in intracavity pumping and is the load for the Nd laser. This arrangement provides proper lasing conditions for the F2“color centers so that the cavity photon lifetime of the color centers is much shorter than the cavity round-trip time of the Nd laser. In this way the Nd pulses are simultaneously Q switched and mode locked. The pulses show a stable temporal profile, with an envelope of 160 ns and a train of mode-locked pulses of less than 200-ps duration. © 1992 Optical Society of America.