Abstract

The synthesis of arbitrarily shaped femtosecond pulses by spectral filtering in a temporally nondispersive grating apparatus is demonstrated. Spectral filtering is accomplished by utilizing spatially patterned masks to modify the amplitude and the phase of the optical frequency components that are spatially dispersed within the apparatus. We are able to pattern spectra over a large dynamic range (approaching 104) and with unprecedented resolution. We illustrate the power of this technique by synthesizing a number of femtosecond waveforms, including femtosecond tone bursts with terahertz repetition rates, picosecond square pulses with 100-fsec rise times, and highly complex pseudonoise bursts produced by spectral phase encoding.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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