Abstract

Dispersion scan (d-scan) is gaining popularity as a relatively easy and effective way to measure ultrashort optical pulses in the single-cycle regime, yet not much is known about its performance in the presence of pulse train instabilities. Pulse train instabilities have frequently fooled characterization methods, e.g., the infamous coherent artifact in autocorrelation [1]. While the appearance of such instabilities is rare in solid-state lasers with their long upperstate lifetimes, semiconductor lasers appear to be highly susceptible to similar artifacts, in particular when no clear mode-locking mechanism could be identified. Despite the advent of many sophisticated characterization methods, there is still no method known to safeguard against the misinterpretation of measurements in the presence of pulse train instabilities. In the following, we show that d-scan allows to safely detect a large class of instabilities and may even be used to quantify the degree of instability.

© 2019 IEEE

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