Date: 13 Jun 2003

Mid-Infrared Ultrafast and Continuous- Wave Optical Parametric Oscillators

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Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) in the ultrafast picosecond and femtosecond time-scales as well as the continuous-wave (CW) regime, operating in the mid-infrared spectral range at wavelengths above ∼ 2 μm. The treatment includes a discussion of the basic principles of optical parametric generation and amplification, with emphasis on mid-infrared generation, fundamental material and pump laser requirements, and a review of the pertinent mid-infrared materials and phase-matching schemes. The main OPO device configurations and operating principles are highlighted, and the important recent advances in mid-infrared ultrafast and CW OPOs are summarized.