Abstract

The demonstration of continuous wave intracavity difference-frequency generation in the mid-infrared (mid-IR) is presented. A cavity for pump laser enhancement is constructed around a periodically poled lithium niobate crystal, and the cavity length is locked to the frequency of the pump laser using the Pound–Drever–Hall technique, producing a gain of 12 in the resultant idler power compared to the single-pass case. A widely tunable single-mode 3.3μm idler beam with a power of nearly 10mW is available for direct absorption spectroscopy. The pump-enhancement method demonstrated here should be readily scalable to produce hundreds of milliwatts of mid-IR light by using higher power signal and pump lasers.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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