Intense pulses for two-color pump–probe spectroscopy in the mid-infrared spectral region are generated by optical parametric oscillator (OPO) and optical parametric amplifier (OPA) stages. Synchronous pumping of two OPO’s in parallel delivers tunable pulses in the range 1.2–1.7 μm with a duration of 300 fs. Subsequent frequency conversion in two OPA’s consisting, respectively, of two- and four-crystal setups of yields pulses in the wavelength interval 2.6–7 μm with a duration of 0.5 ps and single-pulse energy up to 2 μJ. By simple changes of the operating conditions of the two OPO’s, independent adjustments of the resulting mid-infrared pulse duration are achieved that range from 0.5 to 2.6 ps while the pulse duration–bandwidth product of the pulses varies from 0.6 to 1.2.
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