The thesis deals with the design and fabrication of semiconductor mode-locked lasers for use in optical communication systems. The properties of pulse sources and characterization methods are described as well as requirements for application in communication systems. Especially, the importance of, and ways to reduce high-frequency jitter is discussed. The main result of the thesis is a new design of the epitaxial structure that both enables simplified fabrication and improves the properties of monolithic lasers. 40 GHz monolithic lasers with record low jitter and high power is presented as well as the first 10 GHz all-active monolithic laser with both short pulses and low jitter.Results from external cavity mode-locked lasers are also reported along with an investigation of the influence of the operating conditions on the performance of the device. Antireflection coatings are a critical limiting factor for external cavity devices and a chapter is devoted to calculations on coating design.The fabrication process for the lasers is outlined and solutions to the challenges encountered in realizing the proposed structures are reported.