Optical Kerr gating is widely used in ultrafast measurements ranging from pulse characterization to spectroscopy and microscopy. We examined the efficiency and the temporal response of three cubic lattice Kerr media, YAG, GGG and BGO, and compared them with the well studied fused silica (fast response, low efficiency) and STO (high efficiency, slow response). YAG and GGG emerged as superior materials for ultrafast spectroscopy and microscopy applications thanks to their fast Kerr response and considerably higher gating efficiency than silica at low gating energies. Importantly, it was found that in collinear geometry all tested materials except STO are capable of reaching nearly 100% transmission.
© 2011 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 12, 2011
Revised Manuscript: June 23, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: July 2, 2011
Published: July 29, 2011
Zhihao Yu, Lars Gundlach, and Piotr Piotrowiak, "Efficiency and temporal response of crystalline Kerr media in collinear optical Kerr gating," Opt. Lett. 36, 2904-2906 (2011)