Parametric oscillators and parametric mixing and sum generation devices offer the widest tuning range of known coherent sources. This paper reviews the present state of parametric devices with a bias toward their use in spectroscopy. In addition to tuning range, bandwidth and bandwidth narrowing methods are considered. The discussion includes the properties of new infrared nonlinear materials that permit parametric tuning over the entire infrared spectrum. Finally, application of parametric oscillators to spectroscopy is illustrated and predictions of future tuning range and output performance is discussed.
KeywordsPump Power Tuning Range Optical Parametric Oscillator Pump Source Free Spectral Range
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