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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Jul 25;91(4):043905. Epub 2003 Jul 25.

Physical factors limiting the spectral extent and band gap dependence of supercontinuum generation.

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Optical Sciences Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


Based on simulations of femtosecond pulse propagation in water we elucidate the physical factors that limit the attainable spectral extent of supercontinuum generation in bulk media. In contrast to the standard scenario, where arrest of self-focusing collapse by multiphoton absorption and plasma defocusing are viewed as imposing a limit to supercontinuum broadening, we show that linear chromatic dispersion also plays a major role. This insight provides an intuitive explanation of the observed band gap dependence of the attainable supercontinuum generation in condensed media.

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