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Proceedings Paper

Broadband mid-IR subharmonic OPOs for molecular spectroscopy
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Paper Abstract

We generate broadband mid-infrared frequency combs via degenerate optical parametric oscillation in a subharmonic OPO. This technique efficiently transfers the desirable properties of shorter wavelength mode-locked sources to the mid- IR. Our OPO resonator is a 3m or 4m ring cavity composed of one pair of concave mirrors with R=50mm and four flat mirrors, all but one of which are gold coated with > 99% reflection. A single dielectric mirror is used to introduce the pump (2.05 micron from IMRA America, 75 MHz, 80 fs, 600mW or 1.55 micron from Menlo Systems C-fiber, 100 MHz, 70 fs, 350 mW or 1.56 micron from Toptica Photonics FemtoFiber Pro, 80 MHz, 85 fs, 380 mW). The dielectric mirror is transmissive for the pump and reflective in a 2.5- 4 micron or 3- 6 micron (for 2 micron pump) range. Broadband parametric gain around the 3.1-micron subharmonic is provided by short (0.2-0.5mm) periodically poled lithium niobate (MgO:PPLN) at Brewster angle. Crystals were cut from Crystal Technology Inc. material having QPM period of 34.8 microns for type 0 (e=e+e) phase matching at t=32 deg. C. With the 2-micron pump, orientation patterned gallium arsenide from BAE systems is used as the non-linear material In both systems, the enormous acceptance bandwidth at degeneracy, typical for OPOs with type 0 (or type I) phase-matching, gives broad bandwidth and makes temperature tuning insignificant. Broadband oscillation is achieved when signal/idler are brought into degenerate resonance by fine-tuning the cavity length with a mirror on a piezo stage. Using an 8% reflective pellicle, we outcouple a frequency comb of more than 1000nm bandwidth, centered around 3.1 microns from the Er/PPLN system. A 1mm or 2.5mm thick ZnSe plate at Brewster angle provides 2nd-order group velocity dispersion compensation, improving the OPO bandwidth. The OPO threshold was measured to be < 30mW. When locked, the OPO outputs 60 mW of average power centered at 3.1 microns. With the Tm/OP-GaAs system we achieve octave-spanning output from 3- 6 micron using a mix of YAG and CaF for dispersion compensation and output powers over 30 mW.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2012
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8240, Nonlinear Frequency Generation and Conversion: Materials, Devices, and Applications XI, 82400X (15 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.911845
Show Author Affiliations
Nick Leindecker, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Alireza Marandi, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Konstantin L. Vodopyanov, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Robert L. Byer, Stanford Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8240:
Nonlinear Frequency Generation and Conversion: Materials, Devices, and Applications XI
Konstantin L. Vodopyanov, Editor(s)

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