Abstract

We present data on the linear (transmission, index of refraction) and nonlinear (second-order susceptibility) optical properties of the quaternary semiconductor AgGaGe5Se12 with orthorhombic symmetry—a solid solution in the AgxGaxGe1-xSe2 system with x = 0.17. The nonlinear coefficients are estimated from phase-matched second-harmonic generation near 3 μm. After numerical analysis of the phase-matching configurations for three-wave nonlinear interactions, the first experimental results on difference-frequency mixing, producing tunable (4–7.5-μm) femtosecond pulses at a 1-kHz repetition rate, are described. The pulses of only five optical cycles (FWHM = 84 fs) are generated near 5 μm with energy of 0.5 μJ. Because of its higher damage threshold, larger birefringence and bandgap, and greater variety of phase-matching schemes, AgGaGe5Se12 could become an alternative to AgGaS2 and AgGaSe2, more widely used in high-power and specific applications.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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