We review recent results concerning the development of GaSb-based heterostructures for semiconductor disk lasers. We focus on fabrication and design details of gain and semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors used to demonstrate disk lasers exhibiting high output power, broad tunability, and short pulse generation. We demonstrate a 2 μm gain structure with 15 InGaSb quantum wells emitting more than 4 W of output power at 15°C. Almost 1W output power was measured at an elevated temperature of 50°C. A tuning range of more than 150 nm was achieved by employing a gain mirror comprising quantum wells with different widths to provide broadband gain. Ultra-short pulse generation based on synchronous mode-locking and a preliminary demonstration of passively mode-locked semiconductor disk lasers based on GaSb saturable absorber mirrors are also discussed.© (2009) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.