Pursuit of high energy mid-infrared optical parametric amplifiers (MIR-OPA), for use in high harmonic generation applications, led to the development of 2 µm lasers. In particular thulium based systems are of great interest for their capability of being pumped by 794 nm laser diodes. In this work, we use 2 µm pulses generated in a regenerative amplifier solely based on Tm:YAP, to generate supercontinuum in both bulk and for the first time in 50 cm of polarization-maintained (PM) ZBLAN fiber. The capability of SC generation in bulk using only a small portion of pump energy, shows the viability of the source as the pump source for MIR-OPA systems. The applied pump source is an upgraded version of the recently developed regenerative amplifier [1], that operates under 10 kHz repetition rate, which eases the detection process. This source is capable of generating up to 0.184 mJ pulse energy centered at 1937 nm. A small portion of the output (0.5 µJ) is focused into a 3 mm YAG window and supercontinuum (SC) has been achieved. The spectrum of the generated SC is recorded using a combination of two optical spectrum analyzers and a home built Fourier-transform spectrometer.

© 2019 IEEE

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