Abstract

The characteristics of squeezed light generated by both passive (occurring in a cavity external to a laser) and active (occurring within a laser cavity) second-harmonic generation (SHG) are investigated and contrasted. Squeezing of both the fundamental and the second harmonic is discussed, and the issue of doubly versus singly resonant behavior is addressed. We examine passive squeezing by explicitly modeling the intrinsically noisy output of the pump laser and coupling it to a passive, multiport, lossy SHG cavity. Low-frequency degradation of the squeezing caused by the laser pump noise is predicted and provides a probable explanation for previous discrepancies between theory and experiment. Active squeezing is quantitatively modeled by a three-level laser model that retains all laser dynamics. Previously disparate predictions are reconciled. For one parameter set two regimes of squeezing are predicted: 50% squeezing at frequencies lower than the laser relaxation oscillation, and near-perfect squeezing at frequencies above. A particular problem of active squeezing is highlighted: The fast dephasing of the laser coherence introduces considerable excess noise likely to mask squeezing in experimental situations. We conclude that, although passive SHG is a practical source of squeezing, active SHG is unlikely to be so in the foreseeable future.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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