Abstract

Parametric three-photon interaction provides continuously tunable ultrashort pulses in extended spectral regions from the UV to the mid-IR. We focus on parametric systems operating in the pulsed mode. Optical parametric oscillators pumped by intense microsecond trains of subpicosecond pulses exhibit favorable properties. We present data on a pulsed optical parametric oscillator that has a wide tuning range from 0.7 to 1.8 μm, a conversion efficiency of a few percent, and a minimum pulse duration of as low as 65 fs. Larger tuning ranges are covered by subsequent downconversion or parametric amplification. We discuss the generation of ≲1-ps pulses at wavelengths between 2 and 18 μm. Finally, the potential of parametrically generated IR pulses is demonstrated by several applications.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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