Series in Quantum Electronics
Henry Baltes, Peter Günter, Ursula Keller,
Fritz K. Kneubühl †, Walter Lukosz,
Hans Melchior, Markus W. Sigrist
1st edition 2006. 114 pages, € 64,00. ISBN 3-86628-084-X
Dispersion sets limits in the generation, propagation and application of ultrashort pulses. The ability to control dispersion is essential for all ultrafast mode-locked lasers, especially when the pulse duration approaches the few-cycle regime. Dispersion is equally important for ultrashort pulse characterization techniques, pulse amplification, supercontinuum generation in fibers, and ultrabroadband pulse compression. Proper management and direct characterization of various optical components involved in the formation or propagation of ultrashort pulses is therefore necessary. This thesis describes and analyses methods for ultrabroadband dispersion management and precise dispersion characterization of optical components for ultrashort laser pulses. Experimental realization of successful dispersion management is demonstrated with a cascaded hollow fiber compression system, which generates sub 5-fs pulses with energies of 20 nJ by precise dispersion control in the compressor stage. Methods for direct dispersion characterization are examined; particular emphasis is paid to the white light interferometry with temporal data collection and Fourier transform data processing. It is shown for the first time that such essential experimental parameters like spectral resolution and accuracy of dispersion measurement cannot be optimized individually. A comprehensive theoretical and experimental analysis of the relationship between spectral resolution and the noise in the measured group delay dispersion data is given. The influence of spectral brightness, bandwidth of the light source, and detection noise is examined in detail. Two experimental setups for broadband dispersion measurement in visible/near-infrared and telecommunication spectral regions, as well as the improved data retrieval algorithm, are described. A novel interferometric technique for measuring the spectrally resolved absolute phase difference between orthogonal optical modes is demonstrated and for the first time. For validation of the new technique, absolute phase difference measurements were carried out with polarization modes and spatial fiber modes.
Anastassia Gosteva studied Physics at the Moscow State Engineering-Physics Institute (Technical University), Russia. In 2000, she graduated with the diploma thesis on nonlinear picosecond spectroscopy of fullerene-based film and photorefractive materials. In 2001, she joined the Institute of Quantum Electronics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Her research focused on ultrabroadband dispersion control and precise dispersion characterization.
Keywords: ultrafast optics, Fourier transforms, optical signal processing, interferometry, dispersion, hollow-fiber supercontinuum, double-chirped mirrors, phase measurement, noise, optical modes.
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