The noise properties of supercontinuum (SC) sources are of importance in many applications. This intensity noise of the SC arises from nonlinear amplification of the input-pulse shot noise and the spontaneous Raman scattering down the fiber [1]. Low noise femtosecond SC generation (SCG) has previously been demonstrated [2]. However, in commercial SC sources, the SC is generated by pumping with picosecond to nanosecond pulses and the SCG is thus initiated by modulation instability (MI). Therefore, the SC is characterized by low coherence and high shot-to-shot fluctuations, in particular at the spectral edges [3–5]. However, the influence of the noise properties when pumping in the normal dispersion regime has so far not been investigated for long pulse pumping. In this work we have measured and compared the relative intensity noise (RIN) properties of long-pulse MI initiated SCG in three different regimes: (i) all-normal SCG, (ii) normal-pumped SCG where higher-order Raman lines occur in the anomalous dispersion regime, and (iii) anomalous-pumped SCG. We show that the noise properties for the three regimes are similar: when increasing the input pump power, the intensity noise will continuously decrease for a given wavelength, and for a given input power the intensity noise will be lowest at the pump wavelength and increase when moving towards the spectral edge [6].

© 2013 IEEE

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