Abstract

We have used aperiodically poled lithium niobate waveguides to perform intensity autocorrelation and frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG) measurements for ultraweak femtosecond pulses at 1.5  μm wavelength. The required pulse energies for intensity autocorrelation and FROG are as low as 52 aJ and 124 aJ, respectively. The corresponding sensitivities are 3 .2×107mW2 and 2.7×106mW2, about 3–5 orders of magnitude better than the previous records. The high nonlinear conversion efficiency is attributed to the long waveguide structure, and the needed broad phase-matching bandwidth is realized by chirping the poling period. We discuss the theory of intensity autocorrelation and FROG measurements in the presence of different phase-matching bandwidths, and we show, for the first time to our knowledge, that the distorted intensity autocorrelation trace due to a δ-like phase-matching spectrum is described by a modified field autocorrelation function. We also report new experimental results comparing autocorrelation traces measured with chirped and unchirped waveguide samples and demonstrating high-quality FROG measurements for cubic phase waveforms generated in a programmable pulse shaper.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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