A mid-infrared femtosecond optical parametric amplifier tunable in the chemically important spectral region between 3.1 and 3.9 μm (at >10-μJ idler pulse energy) has been constructed on the basis of MgO:LiNbO<sub>3</sub> with 7% doping. With femtosecond pumping near 800 nm (Ti:sapphire regenerative amplifier) and narrow-band (long-pulse) seeding, this simple single-stage device provides maximum conversion efficiencies of 40% and exhibits extremely low seed threshold (<10-mW peak seed power for >1-μJ idler output). The generated idler pulses are almost transform limited with <200-fs pulse duration. The pulse-to-pulse fluctuations reproduce the stability of the pump source at 1-kHz repetition rate.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(190.2620) Nonlinear optics : Harmonic generation and mixing
(190.4410) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, parametric processes
(190.4970) Nonlinear optics : Parametric oscillators and amplifiers
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(320.7110) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
Valentin Petrov, Fabian Rotermund, and Frank Noack, "Femtosecond Traveling-Wave Optical Parametric Amplification in MgO:LiNbO3," Appl. Opt. 37, 8504-8511 (1998)