, Volume 77, Issue 2-3, pp 279-284
Date: 16 Jul 2003

Excess noise generation during spectral broadening in a microstructured fiber

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We observe that nanojoule femtosecond pulses that are spectrally broadened in a microstructured fiber acquire excess noise. The excess noise is manifested as an increase in the noise floor of the rf spectrum of the photocurrent from a photodetector illuminated by the pulse train from the laser oscillator. Measurements are made of the intensity dependence of the excess noise for both 100 fs and sub-10 fs pulses. The excess noise is very strong for 100 fs pulses, but barely measurable for sub-10 fs pulses. A rigorous quantum treatment of the nonlinear propagation of ultrashort pulses predicts that, for a fixed generated bandwidth, the amount of excess noise decreases with pulse duration, in agreement with the experimental results.