Series in Quantum Electronics
edited by
Henry Baltes, Peter Günter, Ursula Keller,
Fritz K. Kneubühl †, Walter Lukosz,
Hans Melchior, Markus W. Sigrist

Vol. 46

Christian Erny

Femtosecond Mid-IR Chirped Pulse Optical Parametric Amplifier

1st edition 2008. XVI, 134 pages; € 64,00.

ISBN-10: 3-86628-234-6, ISBN-13: 978-3-86628-234-6


Intense femtosecond mid-infrared laser pulses are used for many applications ranging from vibrational spectroscopy, monitoring of molecular dynamics and high-field physics. Nowadays most of the laser sources for these applications are titanium:sapphire-based laser amplifier systems, limited to repetition rates typically between 1 and 10 kHz and requiring rather large and complex setups.

In this thesis the implementation of a novel laser source is discussed based on chirped-pulse optical parametric amplification (CPOPA). The presented CPOPA laser system is exclusively based on commercial available diode pumped solid-state laser and fiber laser technology. They are well-known for their compactness and stable operation.

The thesis covers the design and optimization of the CPOPA system. Full three-dimensional simulations are used to get a detailed insight into the nonlinear mixing and amplification process and its dynamic is given. The same simulations are used to define necessary setup parameters for broadband as well as efficient amplification and allowing the system to perform µJ pulse energy at 100 kHz with femtosecond pulses.

The experimental part covers the demonstration of the CPOPA seed laser system based on the difference frequency generation of the frequency shifted outputs from a femtosecond fiber laser amplifier. The central wavelength of the DFG is tunable between 3.2 µm and 4.8 µm.

The amplification is demonstrated in a two-stage CPOPA setup, where 1 µJ pulses are generated at a central wavelength of 3.5 µm and a repetition rate of 100 kHz. The pulses are compressed to 90 fs by a prism compressor and temporarily characterized by mid-infrared second harmonic generation frequency resolved optical gating (SHG-FROG).


About the Author:


Christian Erny received his diploma degree in physics from the ETH Zurich in 2004. He joined the Institute of Quantum Electronics at ETH Zurich in the same year. His research focused on development of laser sources for the mid-infrared providing femtosecond pulses and a detailed study of the dynamics and depletion effects in PPLN based optical parametric amplification processes.


Keywords: chirped-pulse optical parametric amplification (CPOPA), optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA), difference frequency generation (DFG), diode pumped solid-state laser, fiberlaser

Series in Quantum Electronics

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