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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 18 — Aug. 31, 2009
  • pp: 15635–15640
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Extended-cavity, tunable, GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped at 76 MHz

Omid Kokabee, Adolfo Esteban-Martin, and Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh  »View Author Affiliations


Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 18, pp. 15635-15640 (2009)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/OE.17.015635


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Abstract

We report the generation of tunable GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond pulses in a synchronously-pumped optical parametric oscillator (SPOPO) with extended cavity length pumped by a 76 MHz Kerr-lens mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser. In a SPOPO based on periodically-poled LiNbO3, insertion of a prism pair for dispersion compensation internal to the linear cavity provides stable output pulse trains of up to 14th harmonic of pump repetition-rate (1064 MHz) with 70 mW of average power for 1.45 W of pump. Near-transform-limited pulses down to 216 fs are achieved with wide tunability across 1500-1540 nm by continuous detuning of the SPOPO cavity delay over 8 µm.

© 2009 OSA

1. Introduction

Synchronously-pumped optical parametric oscillators (SPOPOs) represent versatile sources of femtosecond pulses at high repetition rate (RR). To date, the majority of femtosecond SPOPOs have been pumped by the Kerr-lens-mode-locked (KLM) Ti:sapphire laser at RR’s typically below 100 MHz [1

1. P. E. Powers, R. J. Ellingson, W. S. Pelouch, and C. L. Tang, “Recent advances of the Ti:sapphire-pumped high-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 10(11), 2162–2167 (1993). [CrossRef]

,2

2. A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “Efficient, high-repetition-rate, femtosecond optical parametric oscillator tunable in the red,” Opt. Lett. 33(22), 2650–2652 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. However, ultrashort pulses at much higher RR’s approaching GHz and above are of interest for some applications including future optical communication systems [3

3. S. Lecomte, L. Krainer, R. Paschotta, M. J. P. Dymott, K. J. Weingarten, and U. Keller, “Optical parametric oscillator with a 10-GHz repetition rate and 100-mW average output power in the spectral region near 1.5 mum,” Opt. Lett. 27(19), 1714–1716 (2002). [CrossRef]

] and pump-probe spectroscopy [4

4. A. Bartels, T. Dekorsy, and H. Kurz, “Femtosecond Ti:sapphire ring laser with a 2-GHz repetition rate and its application in time-resolved spectroscopy,” Opt. Lett. 24(14), 996–998 (1999). [CrossRef]

].

Pump laser repetition-rate (RRp) and SPOPO cavity length (Lopo) are two parameters that can be varied to increase the SPOPO output repetition-rate (RRopo). In the former case, for any required RRopo in the GHz range, a very compact pump laser is required. The highest RRopo in the femtosecond regime is 1 GHz in a PPLN-based SPOPO [5

5. X. P. Zhang, J. Hebling, A. Bartels, D. Nau, J. Kuhl, W. W. Rühle, and H. Giessen, “1-GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 80(11), 1873–1875 (2002). [CrossRef]

,6

6. R. Gebs, T. Dekorsy, S. A. Diddams, and A. Bartels, “1-GHz repetition rate femtosecond OPO with stabilized offset between signal and idler frequency combs,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5397–5405 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. The main shortcoming of this method is the need for custom-designed, very-high-RR femtosecond pump laser with sufficiently high power, instead of the widely available commercial KLM Ti:sapphire laser. In the latter case, based on the KLM Ti:sapphire pump laser at RR’s below 100 MHz, two approaches deployed earlier involve shortening of the SPOPO cavity. In the first technique, a SPOPO with a cavity length N-times shorter than pump laser cavity length (Lp) generates a signal pulse train at N-times the RRp. The highest RRopo achieved with this scheme is 1 GHz in a KTP-based SPOPO, at 12 times the 84 MHz RR femtosecond KLM Ti:sapphire pump laser [7

7. J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Harmonic repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. B 74(4-5), 313–317 (2002). [CrossRef]

]. The second method is based on the cavity length difference between the SPOPO and its pump laser, instead of Lopo alone. Using this technique, a maximum RRopo of 400 MHz (5 times the RRp) has been achieved in a PPLN-based SPOPO with Lopo = (3/5)Lp [8

8. J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Synchronously pumped femtosecond optical parametric oscillator based on an improved pumping concept,” Opt. Commun. 220(1-3), 193–202 (2003). [CrossRef]

]. The short Lopo in the above methods leads to increased difficulty in optimum mode-matching between the pump and signal, and prevents the inclusion of additional components inside the SPOPO cavity such as prisms for dispersion compensation to improve pulse quality. Further increases in the RR are also extremely difficult due to the physical limitations on the shortest Lopo and corresponding rise in the pump power threshold.

Recently, we demonstrated a 1 GHz femtosecond SPOPO pumped by a 76-MHz Ti:sapphire laser using a cavity longer than the fundamental synchronous length [9

9. A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, K. Moutzouris, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “High-harmonic-repetition-rate, 1 GHz femtosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 76 MHz Ti:sapphire laser,” Opt. Lett. 34(4), 428–430 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

]. In this approach, femtosecond pulses at Qth harmonic of pump repetition rate can be produced by adding (1/Q) of Lp to Lopo. In this paper, we report successful implementation of dispersion compensation internal to SPOPO cavity using a pair of SF-11 prisms, thus demonstrating the potential of the present approach for inclusion of intracavity components, which is difficult to achieve with schemes based on shortening the SPOPO cavity length. The inclusion of intracavity prism pair has also resulted in extended SPOPO signal tunability, shift into telecommunication wavelength range, improved pulse quality and stability, and higher output powers.

2. Concept

3. Experimental setup

4. Results and discussion

5. Conclusions

In conclusion, we have demonstrated a tunable, dispersion-compensated, GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond SPOPO using a 76 MHz Kerr-lens mode-locked Ti:sapphire pump laser, with an oscillator cavity longer than the fundamental synchronous length. Using a 1-mm-thick PPLN crystal as the SPOPO gain medium and by deploying internal dispersion compensation in a linear cavity configuration, we achieved stable near-transform-limited output signal pulses up to 14th harmonic of pump laser repetition-rate corresponding to 1064 MHz, with average output power of 70 mW for 1.45 W pump power and extended tuning into the telecommunication wavelength band. The demonstrated technique also offers promise for realization of future multi-GHz ultrafast telecommunication systems using miniature mode-locked semiconductor pump lasers. As an example, for a 1-GHz pump source with a cavity length of 150 mm, a SPOPO with a slightly longer cavity length of 150 + 15 mm will provide output pulses at 10 times higher repetition rate (10 GHz) using this method. This would not be attainable with other methods based on shortening of the SPOPO cavity length, because of physical limitations.

Acknowledgments

We acknowledge partial support from Spanish Ministry of Education and Science through the Consolider Program (CSD2007-00013) and by the European Union Seventh Framework Program, MIRSURG (224042).

References and links

1.

P. E. Powers, R. J. Ellingson, W. S. Pelouch, and C. L. Tang, “Recent advances of the Ti:sapphire-pumped high-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 10(11), 2162–2167 (1993). [CrossRef]

2.

A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “Efficient, high-repetition-rate, femtosecond optical parametric oscillator tunable in the red,” Opt. Lett. 33(22), 2650–2652 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

3.

S. Lecomte, L. Krainer, R. Paschotta, M. J. P. Dymott, K. J. Weingarten, and U. Keller, “Optical parametric oscillator with a 10-GHz repetition rate and 100-mW average output power in the spectral region near 1.5 mum,” Opt. Lett. 27(19), 1714–1716 (2002). [CrossRef]

4.

A. Bartels, T. Dekorsy, and H. Kurz, “Femtosecond Ti:sapphire ring laser with a 2-GHz repetition rate and its application in time-resolved spectroscopy,” Opt. Lett. 24(14), 996–998 (1999). [CrossRef]

5.

X. P. Zhang, J. Hebling, A. Bartels, D. Nau, J. Kuhl, W. W. Rühle, and H. Giessen, “1-GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 80(11), 1873–1875 (2002). [CrossRef]

6.

R. Gebs, T. Dekorsy, S. A. Diddams, and A. Bartels, “1-GHz repetition rate femtosecond OPO with stabilized offset between signal and idler frequency combs,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5397–5405 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

7.

J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Harmonic repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. B 74(4-5), 313–317 (2002). [CrossRef]

8.

J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Synchronously pumped femtosecond optical parametric oscillator based on an improved pumping concept,” Opt. Commun. 220(1-3), 193–202 (2003). [CrossRef]

9.

A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, K. Moutzouris, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “High-harmonic-repetition-rate, 1 GHz femtosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 76 MHz Ti:sapphire laser,” Opt. Lett. 34(4), 428–430 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

OCIS Codes
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials
(190.4410) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, parametric processes
(190.4970) Nonlinear optics : Parametric oscillators and amplifiers
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

History
Original Manuscript: June 23, 2009
Revised Manuscript: August 15, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2009
Published: August 19, 2009

Citation
Omid Kokabee, Adolfo Esteban-Martin, and Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh, "Extended-cavity, tunable, GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped at 76 MHz," Opt. Express 17, 15635-15640 (2009)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-17-18-15635


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References

  1. P. E. Powers, R. J. Ellingson, W. S. Pelouch, and C. L. Tang, “Recent advances of the Ti:sapphire-pumped high-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 10(11), 2162–2167 (1993). [CrossRef]
  2. A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “Efficient, high-repetition-rate, femtosecond optical parametric oscillator tunable in the red,” Opt. Lett. 33(22), 2650–2652 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. S. Lecomte, L. Krainer, R. Paschotta, M. J. P. Dymott, K. J. Weingarten, and U. Keller, “Optical parametric oscillator with a 10-GHz repetition rate and 100-mW average output power in the spectral region near 1.5 mum,” Opt. Lett. 27(19), 1714–1716 (2002). [CrossRef]
  4. A. Bartels, T. Dekorsy, and H. Kurz, “Femtosecond Ti:sapphire ring laser with a 2-GHz repetition rate and its application in time-resolved spectroscopy,” Opt. Lett. 24(14), 996–998 (1999). [CrossRef]
  5. X. P. Zhang, J. Hebling, A. Bartels, D. Nau, J. Kuhl, W. W. Rühle, and H. Giessen, “1-GHz-repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 80(11), 1873–1875 (2002). [CrossRef]
  6. R. Gebs, T. Dekorsy, S. A. Diddams, and A. Bartels, “1-GHz repetition rate femtosecond OPO with stabilized offset between signal and idler frequency combs,” Opt. Express 16(8), 5397–5405 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Harmonic repetition-rate femtosecond optical parametric oscillator,” Appl. Phys. B 74(4-5), 313–317 (2002). [CrossRef]
  8. J. Jiang and T. Hasama, “Synchronously pumped femtosecond optical parametric oscillator based on an improved pumping concept,” Opt. Commun. 220(1-3), 193–202 (2003). [CrossRef]
  9. A. Esteban-Martin, O. Kokabee, K. Moutzouris, and M. Ebrahim-Zadeh, “High-harmonic-repetition-rate, 1 GHz femtosecond optical parametric oscillator pumped by a 76 MHz Ti:sapphire laser,” Opt. Lett. 34(4), 428–430 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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