Abstract

We recently introduced frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG), a technique for measuring the intensity and phase of an individual, arbitrary, ultrashort laser pulse. FROG can use almost any instantaneous optical nonlinearity, with the most common geometries being polarization gate, self-diffraction, and second-harmonic generation. The experimentally generated FROG trace is intuitive, visually appealing, and can yield quantitative information about the pulse parameters (such as temporal and spectral width and chirp). However, the qualitative and the quantitative features of the FROG trace depend strongly on the geometry used. We compare the FROG traces for several common ultrashort pulses for these three common geometries and, where possible, develop scaling rules that allow one to obtain quantitative information about the pulse directly from the experimental FROG trace. We illuminate the important features of the various FROG traces for transform-limited, linearly chirped, self-phase modulated, and nonlinearly chirped pulses, pulses with simultaneous linear chirp and self-phase modulation, and pulses with simultaneous linear chirp and cubic phase distortion, as well as double pulses, pulses with phase jumps, and pulses with complex intensity and phase substructure.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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