, Volume 72, Issue 7, pp 793-801

Low-threshold mid-infrared optical parametric oscillation in periodically poled LiNbO3 synchronously pumped by a Ti:sapphire laser

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Abstract.

We report the generation of tunable high-repetition-rate optical pulses in the mid-infrared using synchronously pumped parametric oscillation in periodically poled LiNbO3 (PPLN). Using a Kerr-lens-mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser as the pump source and a PPLN crystal incorporating grating periods of 21.0–22.4 μm, we have achieved wavelength conversion in the -–4 6μm spectral range in the mid-infrared. The use of a semi-monolithic cavity design and hemispherical focusing has permitted pulse generation in the strong idler absorption region of PPLN, resulting in a simple, compact, all-solid-state configuration with a pump power threshold as low as 17 mW and mid-infrared idler powers of up to 64 mW at 9% extraction efficiency. Signal output powers of up to 280 mW at 35% extraction efficiency are available over the -–1.004 1.140μm spectral range at 80.5 MHz and pulse repetition rates at harmonics of the fundamental frequency up to 322 MHz have also been obtained.

Received: 5 December 2000 / Revised version: 23 January 2001 / Published online: 27 April 2001