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Optical Engineering

Optical damage studies of mercury thiogallate nonlinear crystals for use in 1-μm pumped optical parametric oscillators
Author(s): Valentin P. Petrov; Georgi Marchev; Aleksey Tyazhev; Marcus Beutler; Vladimir Panyutin; Marina K. Starikova; Adolfo Esteban-Martin; Valery V. Badikov; Galina Shevyrdyaeva; Dmitrii V. Badikov; Manuel Reza; Svetlana Sheina; Anna Fintisova
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Paper Abstract

We investigated optical damage (surface and bulk) in one of the most promising wide bandgap nonoxide nonlinear crystals, HgGa2 S4 , that can be used in ∼1 -μm pumped optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) and synchronously pumped OPOs (SPOPOs) for generation of idler pulses above 4 μm without two-photon absorption losses at the pump wavelength. The optical damage has been characterized at the pump wavelength for different repetition rates using uncoated and antireflection-coated (mainly with a single layer for pump and signal wavelengths) samples. HgGa2 S4 is the most successful nonlinear crystal (both in terms of output energy and average power) for such OPOs, but optical damage inside the OPO has a lower threshold and represents at present the principal limitation for the achievable output. It is related to peak pulse and not to average intensity, and bulk damage in the form of scattering centers occurs before surface damage. Such bulk damage formation is faster at higher repetition rates. Lower repetition rates increase the lifetime of the crystal but do not solve the problem. The safe pump fluence in extracavity measurements is <1  J/cm2 , which corresponds to ∼100  MW/cm2 for the 8-ns pulse duration (both values peak on-axis). In the OPO, however, peak on-axis fluence should not exceed 0.3  J/cm2 limited by the formation of bulk scattering centers in orange-phase HgGa2 S4. In the nanosecond OPO regime, the damage resistivity of Cd-doped HgGa2 S4 is higher and that of the almost colorless CdGa2 S4 is roughly two times higher, but the latter has no sufficient birefringence for phase-matching. In SPOPOs operating in the ∼100  MHz regime, the damage limitations are related both to the peak pulse and the average intensities, but here HgGa2 S4 seems the best nonoxide candidate to obtain first steady-state operation with Yb-based mode-locked laser pump sources.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 November 2013
PDF: 16 pages
Opt. Eng. 52(11) 117102 doi: 10.1117/1.OE.52.11.117102
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 52, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Valentin P. Petrov, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Germany)
Georgi Marchev, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Germany)
Aleksey Tyazhev, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Germany)
Marcus Beutler, APE GmbH (Germany)
Vladimir Panyutin, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Germany)
Marina K. Starikova, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Russian Federation)
Adolfo Esteban-Martin, ICFO - Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (Spain)
Valery V. Badikov, Kuban State Technological Univ. (Russian Federation)
Galina Shevyrdyaeva, Kuban State Technological Univ. (Russian Federation)
Dmitrii V. Badikov, Kuban State Technological Univ. (Russian Federation)
Manuel Reza, Max-Born-Institut für Nichtlineare Optik und Kurzzeitspektroskopie (Russian Federation)
Svetlana Sheina, Kuban State Technological Univ. (Russian Federation)
Anna Fintisova, Kuban State Technological Univ. (Russian Federation)


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