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Sensors (Basel). 2010;10(5):4296-341. doi: 10.3390/s100504296. Epub 2010 Apr 29.

Generation and amplification of tunable multicolored femtosecond laser pulses by using cascaded four-wave mixing in transparent bulk media.

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1
Department of Applied Physics and Chemistry and Institute for Laser Science, University of Electro-Communications, Chofugaoka 1-5-1, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan. jliu@ils.uec.ac.jp

Abstract

We have reviewed the generation and amplification of wavelength-tunable multicolored femtosecond laser pulses using cascaded four-wave mixing (CFWM) in transparent bulk media, mainly concentrating on our recent work. Theoretical analysis and calculations based on the phase-matching condition could explain well the process semi-quantitatively. The experimental studies showed: (1) as many as fifteen spectral up-shifted and two spectral down-shifted sidebands were obtained simultaneously with spectral bandwidth broader than 1.8 octaves from near ultraviolet (360 nm) to near infrared (1.2 μm); (2) the obtained sidebands were spatially separated well and had extremely high beam quality with M(2) factor better than 1.1; (3) the wavelengths of the generated multicolor sidebands could be conveniently tuned by changing the crossing angle or simply replacing with different media; (4) as short as 15-fs negatively chirped or nearly transform limited 20-fs multicolored femtosecond pulses were obtained when one of the two input beams was negatively chirped and the other was positively chirped; (5) the pulse energy of the sideband can reach a μJ level with power stability better than 1% RMS; (6) broadband two-dimensional (2-D) multicolored arrays with more than ten periodic columns and more than ten rows were generated in a sapphire plate; (7) the obtained sidebands could be simultaneously spectra broadened and power amplified in another bulk medium by using cross-phase modulation (XPM) in conjunction with four-wave optical parametric amplification (FOPA). The characterization showed that this is interesting and the CFWM sidebands generated by this novel method have good enough qualities in terms of power stability, beam quality, and temporal features suited to various experiments such as ultrafast multicolor time-resolved spectroscopy and multicolor-excitation nonlinear microscopy.

KEYWORDS:

CFWM; FOPA; XPM; femtosecond spectroscopy; pulse compression; tunable laser pulse

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