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Five‐cycle pulses near λ = 3 μm produced in a subharmonic optical parametric oscillator via fine dispersion management

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Five‐cycle (50 fs) mid‐IR pulses at 80‐MHz repetition rate are produced using a degenerate (subharmonic) optical parametric oscillator (OPO), synchronously pumped by an ultrafast 1560‐nm fiber laser. The effects of cavity dispersion and the length of a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) gain element on the output spectrum and pulse duration are investigated by taking advantage of a very broad (∼ 1000 cm−1) gain bandwidth near the 3.1‐μm OPO degeneracy point. A new method of assessing the total OPO group delay dispersion across its entire spectrum is proposed, based on measuring spectral signatures of trace amounts of molecular gases injected into the OPO cavity. Five‐cycle (50 fs) mid‐IR pulses at 80‐MHz repetition rate are produced using a degenerate (subharmonic) optical parametric oscillator (OPO), synchronously pumped by an ultrafast 1560‐nm fiber laser. The effects of cavity dispersion and the length of a periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) gain element on the output spectrum and pulse duration are investigated by taking advantage of a very broad (∼ 1000 cm−1) gain bandwidth near the 3.1‐μm OPO degeneracy point. A new method of assessing the total OPO group delay dispersion across its entire spectrum is proposed, based on measuring spectral signatures of trace amounts of molecular gases injected into the OPO cavity.
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Keywords: Ultrafast nonlinear optics; mid‐infrared; optical parametric oscillators; periodically‐poled lithium niobate

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2013

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