Abstract

A novel scheme for the generation of UV pulses in the 295–450 nm range is presented. Sum frequency mixing of the chirped visible pulses from a noncollinear optical parametric amplifier with deliberately chirped pulses from the Ti:sapphire amplifier ensures efficient energy conversion and easy tunability. Pulse energies as high as 5.5 µJ at 295 nm, and >2 µJ in most of the tuning range are obtained with highly symmetric and smooth spectra. They are compressed to sub-30 fs throughout the entire tuning range (20 fs at 348 nm) with a newly designed prism compressor.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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References

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Appl. Phys. B

E. Riedle, M. Beutter, S. Lochbrunner, J. Piel, S. Schenkl, S. Spörlein, W. Zinth, �??Generation of 10 to 50 fs pulses tunable through all of the visible and the NIR,�?? Appl. Phys. B 71, 457-465 (2000).
[CrossRef]

P. Baum, S. Lochbrunner, L. Gallmann, G. Steinmeyer, U. Keller, E. Riedle, �??Real-time characterization and optimal phase control of tunable visible pulses with a flexible compressor,�?? Appl. Phys. B 74 [Suppl.], S219- S224 (2002).
[CrossRef]

A.J. Wurzer, S. Lochbrunner, E. Riedle, "Highly localized vibronic wavepackets in large reactive molecules," Appl. Phys. B 71, 405-409 (2000).
[CrossRef]

A. Kummrow, M. Wittmann, F. Tschirschwitz, G. Korn, E.T.J. Nibbering, �??Femtosecond ultraviolet pulses generated using noncollinear optical parametric amplification and sum frequency mixing,�?? Appl. Phys. B 71, 885-887 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett.

P. Tzankov, T. Fiebig, I. Buchvarov, �??Tunable femtosecond pulses in the near-ultraviolet from ultrabroadband amplification,�?? Appl. Phys. Lett. 82, 517-519 (2003).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron.

L.D. Ziegler, J. Morais, Y. Zhou, S. Constantine, M.K. Reed, M.K. Steinershepard, D. Lommel, �??Tunable 50-fs pulse generation in the 250-310-nm ultraviolet range,�?? IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1758-1764 (1998)
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B

Opt. Express

Opt. Lett.

Opt. Soc. Am. B

K.R. Wilson, V.V. Yakovlev, �??Ultrafast rainbow: tunable ultrashort pulses from a solid-state kilohertz system,�?? J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 14, 444-448 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Rev. Sci. Instrum.

G. Cerullo, S. De Silvestri, �??Ultrafast optical parametric amplifiers,�?? Rev. Sci. Instrum. 74, 1-17 (2003).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Second harmonic generation and sum frequency mixing schemes based on parametric devices for the generation of tunable UV pulses.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(a) Principal parts of the two-stage NOPA. (b) Pulse duration of the uncompressed NOPA output. A lens having higher (∙) or lower material dispersion (∘) is used for collimating the continuum. The blue line denotes the duration of the frequency doubled pump pulses.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Three schemes for SFM. (a) Compressed NOPA pulses requiring two compressors, (b) uncompressed NOPA pulses with one compressor, and (c) chirped SFM of stretched NIR pulses and uncompressed NOPA pulses. The graphs below illustrate the temporal overlap between the NIR and the NOPA pulses.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Experimental setup for SFM. The uncompressed output of the 2-stage NOPA is upconverted with the stretched output of the CPA (BBO 1). The generated UV pulse is compressed in a UV prism compressor (PC1). A 1-stage NOPA delivers visible pulses, which are compressed to about 20 fs duration (PC2). The cross correlation of the UV and the visible pulses (BBO 2) is detected with a Si photodiode.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Characteristics of the generated UV pulses: (a) output energy (∙) and quantum efficiency (▪) of the SFM process defined as the ratio of the number of generated UV photons and the visible photons and (b) spectra of the pulses.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Cross correlation traces and measured spectra. (a) For pulses at λ=301 nm the spectral width is Δλ=6.3 nm. With visible probe pulses of Δτ=21 fs the width of the cross correlation trace is Δt=35.6 fs; (b) λ=319 nm, Δλ=6.5 nm, Δτ=14.7 fs, Δt=33.5 fs; (c) λ=348 nm, Δλ=8.1 nm, Δτ=17.8 fs, Δt=29 fs and (d) λ=410 nm, Δλ=11.8 nm, Δτ=19.5 fs, Δt=34.9 fs.

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