Intense mid-infrared pulses tunable between 5 and with pulse energies of several microjoules were generated by difference-frequency mixing (DFM) in a GaSe crystal. Longer wavelengths (up to ) were achieved by DFM in a CdSe crystal. The infrared pulses were then characterized using various techniques: The spectrum was measured using a Fourier-transform spectrometer, which was then modified to determine the interferometric second-order autocorrelation. The electric field spectral phase was measured using the same setup, thus leading to a full characterization of the mid-infrared pulses. The spectral phase was measured using the time-domain homodyne optical technique for spectral phase interferometry for direct electric field reconstruction, where spectral interferometry was replaced with time-domain interferometry. The measured pulse duration was , nearly transform limited.
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