Abstract

We describe a near-IR two-stage noncollinear optical parametric amplifier (NOPA) pumped at 800 nm that employs bulk congruent lithium niobate [LiNbO3 (c-LNB)] and bulk potassium niobate [KNbO3 (KNB)] crystals. Noncollinear phase matching in these materials allows for generation of pulses as broad as 2900cm1 (78THz) centered in the near-IR at 1300nm. In the particular geometry described here, the LNB crystal amplifies the white-light seed continuum, and the KNB crystal further amplifies the broadband near-IR pulses. Use of pulse-front matching at both nonlinear optical crystals allows for improvement of the spatiotemporal profile of the amplified ultrabroadband signal pulses and their compression to 22fs. Because of the relatively high nonlinear coefficients of these crystals, we achieve overall amplification efficiencies >7% in two consecutive NOPA stages.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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