Nonlinear optical interaction in quasi-phase-matched structures opens up unique possibilities to build compact and efficient parametric devices such as optical parametric oscillators, generators, and amplifiers with tailored spectral properties. The focus of this thesis is on novel parametric interactions with periodically-poled KTiOPO4 (PPKTP) as the parametric gain medium.
Optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) are attractive light sources for many applications, particularly in spectroscopy, and plays a central role in this thesis. Special attention is put on simple, yet powerful, spectral-manipulation and bandwidth-narrowing techniques for OPOs. The overall knowledge gained from these studies has been used for device construction of several tunable ultraviolet sources for biological sensing.
In the case of bandwidth narrowing, the observation of decreasing spectral bandwidth in a noncollinear, idler-resonant OPO, as compared with a signal-resonant one, has been found to be due to the interplay between the material properties and the angular dispersion of PPKTP. To further reduce the bandwidth, we have shown that it is very beneficial to replace the output mirror in an OPO with a bulk Bragg grating. In fact, even close to degeneracy, where the bandwidth is typically wide, this approach is able to decrease the bandwidth drastically.
Moreover, different OPO cavity designs have been examined in order to spectrally manipulate the resonant waves. By deploying a grating in a ring OPO cavity, it becomes possible to access the resonant wave and spectrally manipulated it in a zero-dispersion arrangement; the filtered wave is subsequently sent back into its own cavity as a seed signal, in a self-seeding arrangement. This particular cavity design decreases the bandwidth close to ~ 1000 times as compare to the free-running mode. An interesting phenomenon arises when two mutually coherent laser beams are used to pump a linear OPO cavity. When the pump beams intersect within the PPKTP crystal, an interference grating is formed and acts as a catalyst for the generation of new spectral sidebands through multiple cascaded four-wave mixing, in the pump, the idler and the signal directions. The spacing of these sidebands is determined geometrically by the incident pump angle, while the signals are continuously tunable over the c-band telecom window (λ ~ 1.5 μm) by rotating the cavity.
Ultrabroad bandwidths have been generated in an optical parametric generator (OPG) pumped by an amplified picosecond Ti:sapphire laser. In the collinear direction the output spectrum extends over three octaves in the mid-infrared region. This enormously broad spectrum is also Fourier-filtered and subsequently used for narrowband seeding of an optical parametric amplifier (OPA).
Finally, the spectral range between 285 nm and 340 nm is of importance for detection of biological substances through fluorescence spectroscopy. With this spectral region in mind a practical way to generate a tunable parametric device in the ultraviolet region is presented in the thesis. The developed ultraviolet laser is used for studies of the characteristics of biological particles. The ultraviolet source and the results from these studies, will be utilized in an integrated detection system, a so called early-warning system.
Stockholm: KTH , 2006. , 69 p.
optical parametric devices, nonlinear optics, ultraviolet generation, mid-infrared generation, optical parametric oscillator, optical parametric generator, optical parametric amplifier
2006-06-13, Sal FD5, AlvaNova univ centrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00