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Spotlight on Optics


  • July 2013

Optics InfoBase > Spotlight on Optics > Power scalable >25 W supercontinuum laser from 2 to 2.5 μm with near-diffraction-limited beam and low output variability

Power scalable >25 W supercontinuum laser from 2 to 2.5 μm with near-diffraction-limited beam and low output variability

Published in Optics Letters, Vol. 38 Issue 13, pp.2292-2294 (2013)
by Vinay V. Alexander, Zhennan Shi, Mohammed N. Islam, Kevin Ke, Michael J. Freeman, Agustin Ifarraguerri, Joseph Meola, Anthony Absi, James Leonard, Jerome Zadnik, Anthony S. Szalkowski, and Gregory J. Boer

Source article Abstract | Full Text: XHTML | Full Text: PDF

Spotlight summary: Supercontinuum (SC) white light lasers are becoming popular as light sources for various optical applications, e.g., in photonics and biophotonics. The high intensity of a laser beam in a nonlinear medium results in self-phase modulation and excitation of the Raman Stokes line cascade, making the spectral width of the output emission of SC systems extremely broad. In the SC laser’s novel design reported by Alexander and co-authors in this Optics Letters publication, the broad emission in the mid IR range from 1.95 to 2.55 μm was achieved with an average power scaling from 5 to 25.7W. A smooth increase in the pump power by increasing the pulse repetition rate allows maintaining a nearly constant peak power, resulting in a near constant spectral output with variability below 0.8%. Finally, this system was designed to use standard telecommunication components in an all-fiber architecture.

All of the above-mentioned features mean that these sources could be in high demand as excitation light sources in mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy, where lasers with stable and broad spectral emission are vitally important for increasing the sensitivity and efficacy of the device. In particular, high output power of the suggested design makes this laser highly competitive in lidar systems due to their increased capability for long-path atmospheric concentrations measurements. The near-flat and wide emission spectrum of the designed SC light source allows for measurements of the multi-line differential absorption spectra needed for the determination of the concentrations of various atmospheric constituents.

--Andrey N. Kuzmin

Technical Division: Optoelectronics
ToC Category: Fiber Optics and Optical Communications
OCIS Codes: (060.2310) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics
(060.2390) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics, infrared
(320.6629) Ultrafast optics : Supercontinuum generation
(060.3510) Fiber optics and optical communications : Lasers, fiber

Posted on July 01, 2013

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