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Opt Express. 2011 Mar 28;19(7):6635-47. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.006635.

Fiber-optic Cherenkov radiation in the few-cycle regime.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Fiber-optic Cherenkov radiation has emerged as a wavelength conversion technique to achieve isolated spectrum in the visible wavelength range. Most published results have reinforced the impression that CR forms a narrowband spectrum with poor efficiency. We both theoretically and experimentally investigate fiber-optic Cherenkov radiation excited by few-cycle pulses. We introduce the coherence length to quantify the Cherenkov-radiation bandwidth and its dependence on propagation distance. Detailed numerical simulations verified by experimental results reveal three unique features that are absent when pumped with often-used, long pulses; that is, continuum generation (may span one octave in connection with the pump spectrum), high conversion efficiency (up to 40%), and broad bandwidth (70 nm experimentally obtained) for the isolated Cherenkov radiation spectrum. These merits allow achieving broadband visible-wavelength spectra from low-energy ultrafast sources which opens up new applications (e.g. precision calibration of astronomical spectrographs).

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