Abstract

We focus theoretically and experimentally on the fundamental limitations of spectral pulse shaping using an acousto-optic modulator. We analyze the role of the relative thickness of the interaction region as dictated by the acousto-optic Q parameter and show that varying Q allows flexibility in choosing between diffraction efficiency and pixels of resolution. We model and experimentally demonstrate the effects of potential nonidealities such as nonlinear acoustic attenuation. In addition, we derive a simple and intuitive expression to predict the magnitude of the distortions in the spatial profile generated by an acousto-optic-modulator spectral light modulator. Finally, we demonstrate amplification of acousto-optic-modulator-generated shaped pulses for the first time.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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