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Towards turn-key cw OPOs tunable across the visible spectral range (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Korbinian Hens; Jaroslaw Sperling; Niklas Waasem; Allen M. Ricks; Gunnar Elgcrona
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Paper Abstract

The huge potential of tunable optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) derives from their exceptional wavelength versatility, as they are in principle not limited by the wavelength coverage dictated by the energy levels and transitions in a laser gain medium. However, while the OPO concept has been experimentally demonstrated already more than half a century ago, the progress in development of practicable and reliable turn-key devices that operate in continuous-wave (cw) mode has been stalled by several technical obstacles. This applies particularly for systems that sought to deliver tunable output across the visible spectral range (VIS), where only relatively recent advances have spurred the development of operationally stable benchtop devices. We discuss the principles and design challenges of such technically practicable cw OPOs, focusing on singly resonant OPO cavity designs that are linked with frequency conversion of the primary OPO output into different ranges of the visible spectrum. In this context, suitable choices and combinations of (quasi-phase-matched) nonlinear crystals are examined. We further discuss the overall performance highlights as well as current limitations of state-of-the art tunable cw OPO designs, and present first measurement results from conceptual approaches to shift and/or extend the wavelength coverage in future design layouts that eventually target commercialization. Last no least, after presenting real-world applications in an illustrative manner, we critically discuss how OPO technology, on the long run, can be expected to perform in the competition with alternatives based on common tunable laser designs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 March 2019
Proc. SPIE 10896, Solid State Lasers XXVIII: Technology and Devices, 108960D (13 March 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2510493
Show Author Affiliations
Korbinian Hens, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Jaroslaw Sperling, HÜBNER GmbH & Co. KG (Germany)
Niklas Waasem, Cobolt, Inc. (United States)
Allen M. Ricks, Cobolt, Inc. (United States)
Gunnar Elgcrona, Cobolt AB (Sweden)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10896:
Solid State Lasers XXVIII: Technology and Devices
W. Andrew Clarkson; Ramesh K. Shori, Editor(s)

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