Abstract

We experimentally investigate the gain response of a frequency-degenerate but polarization-nondegenerate traveling-wave optical parametric amplifier that consists of a type II phase-matched potassium titanyl phosphate crystal pumped by a frequency-doubled Q-switched mode-locked Nd:YAG laser. Both the optical phase-sensitive and phase-insensitive configurations of the parametric amplifier are studied. Experimental results are in excellent agreement with the theory of an optical parametric amplifier when the Gaussian-beam nature of the various fields is taken into account. In the phase-sensitive configuration a gain of >100 (20 dB) could be easily obtained in the amplified quadrature, which is limited only by the available pump power. Because of gain-induced diffraction and phase fluctuations, however, maximum deamplification in the orthogonal quadrature is limited to <0.5 (-3 dB).

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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