Abstract

We show that optical waveguides with sub-wavelength transverse dimensions optimize the effective nonlinearity and provide desireable dispersive properties for generating supercontinuum with ultra-low threshold power. Using a tapered small-core microstructured fiber with a sub-wavelength diameter core, we generate an octave-spanning supercontinuum with 250 pJ pulses from a femtosecond modelocked Ti:sapphire oscillator.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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References

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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  4. F. Quochi, M. Dinu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, C. Kerbage, R. S. Windeler, and B. J. Eggleton, ???Coulomb and carrier-activation dynamics of resonantly excited InAs/GaAs quantum dots in two-color pump-probe experiments,??? Phys. Rev. B 67, 235323 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. D. Ouzounov, D. Homoelle, W. Zipfel, W. W. Webb, A. L. Gaeta, J. A. West, J. C. Fajardo, and K. W. Koch, ???Dispersion measurements of microstructured fibers using femtosecond laser pulses,??? Opt. Commun. 192, 219???223 (2001).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. W. H. Reeves, D. V. Skryabin, F. Biancalana, J. C. Knight, P. St.J. Russell, F. G. Omenetto, A. Efimov, and A. J. Taylor, ???Transformation and control of ultra-short pulses in dispersion-engineered photonic crystal fibres,??? Nature 424, 511???515 (2003).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. J. M. Harbold, F. O. Ilday, F.W.Wise, T. A. Birks,W. J.Wadsworth, and Z. Chen, ???Long-wavelength continuum generation about the second dispersion zero of a tapered fiber,??? Opt. Lett. 27, 1558???1560 (2002).
    [CrossRef]
  24. T. A. Birks and Y. W. Li, ???The shape of fiber tapers,??? J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432???438 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  25. E. C. Mägi, P. Steinvurzel, and B. J. Eggleton, ???Tapered photonic crystal fibers,??? Opt. Express 12, 776???784 (2004) <a href="http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-5-776">http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?URI=OPEX-12-5-776</a>.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  26. T. A. Birks, W. J. Wadsworth, and P. St. J. Russell, ???Supercontinuum generation in tapered fibers,??? Opt. Lett. 25, 1415???1417 (2000).
    [CrossRef]
  27. J. M. Dudley, personal communication (2004).
  28. S. G. Leon-Saval, T. A. Birks,W. J.Wadsworth, P. St.J. Russell, and M.W. Mason, ???Efficient single-mode supercontinuum generation in submicron-diameter silica-air fiber waveguides,??? in OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Series (TOPS) Vol. 96, Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Technical Digest, Postconference Edition (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC).

Appl. Phys. B

D. Akimov, M. Schmitt, R. Maksimenka, K. Dukel???skii, Y. Kondrat???ev, A. Khokhlov, V. Shevandin, W. Kiefer, and A. M. Zheltikov, ???Supercontinuum generation in a multiple-submicron-core microstructure fiber: toward limiting waveguide enhancement of nonlinear-optical processes,??? Appl. Phys. B 77, 299???305 (2003).
[CrossRef]

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett.

V. Finazzi, T. M. Monro, and D. J. Richardson, ???The role of confinement loss in highly nonlinear silica holey fibers,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 15, 1246???1248 (2003).
[CrossRef]

J. C. Knight, J. Arriaga, T. A. Birks, A. Ortigosa-Blanch, W. J. Wadsworth, and P. St.J. Russell, ???Anomalous dispersion in photonic crystal fiber,??? IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 12, 807???809 (2000).
[CrossRef]

J. Lightwave Technol.

T. A. Birks and Y. W. Li, ???The shape of fiber tapers,??? J. Lightwave Technol. 10, 432???438 (1992).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B

Nature

W. H. Reeves, D. V. Skryabin, F. Biancalana, J. C. Knight, P. St.J. Russell, F. G. Omenetto, A. Efimov, and A. J. Taylor, ???Transformation and control of ultra-short pulses in dispersion-engineered photonic crystal fibres,??? Nature 424, 511???515 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Opt. Commun.

D. Ouzounov, D. Homoelle, W. Zipfel, W. W. Webb, A. L. Gaeta, J. A. West, J. C. Fajardo, and K. W. Koch, ???Dispersion measurements of microstructured fibers using femtosecond laser pulses,??? Opt. Commun. 192, 219???223 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Express

Opt. Lett.

V. R. Almeida, R. R. Panepucci, and M. Lipson, ???Nanotaper for compact mode conversion,??? Opt. Lett. 28, 1302???1304 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. M. Harbold, F. O. Ilday, F.W.Wise, T. A. Birks,W. J.Wadsworth, and Z. Chen, ???Long-wavelength continuum generation about the second dispersion zero of a tapered fiber,??? Opt. Lett. 27, 1558???1560 (2002).
[CrossRef]

J. K. Ranka, R. S. Windeler, and A. J. Stentz, ???Visible continuum generation in air-silica microstructure optical fibers with anomalous dispersion at 800 nm,??? Opt. Lett. 25, 25???27 (2000).
[CrossRef]

P. Dumais, F. Gonthier, S. Lacroix, A. Villeneuve, P. G. J. Wigley, and G. I. Stegeman, ???Enhanced self-phase modulation in tapered fibers,??? Opt. Lett. 18, 1996???1998 (1993).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. A. Birks, W. J. Wadsworth, and P. St. J. Russell, ???Supercontinuum generation in tapered fibers,??? Opt. Lett. 25, 1415???1417 (2000).
[CrossRef]

I. Hartl, X. D. Li, C. Chudoba, R. K. Ghanta, T. H. Ko, J. G. Fujimoto, J. K. Ranka, and R. S. Windeler, ???Ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography using continuum generation in an air silica microstructure optical fiber,??? Opt. Lett. 26, 608???610 (2001).
[CrossRef]

A. L. Gaeta, ???Nonlinear propagation and continuum generation in microstructured optical fibers,??? Opt. Lett. 27, 924???926 (2002).
[CrossRef]

J. M. Dudley and S. Coen, ???Coherence properties of supercontinuum spectra generated in photonic crystal and tapered optical fibers,??? Opt. Lett. 27, 1180???1182 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Optics and Spectroscopy

A. M. Zheltikov, ???The physical limit for the waveguide enhancement of nonlinear-optical processes,??? Optics and Spectroscopy 95, 410???415 (2003).
[CrossRef]

OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics

S. G. Leon-Saval, T. A. Birks,W. J.Wadsworth, P. St.J. Russell, and M.W. Mason, ???Efficient single-mode supercontinuum generation in submicron-diameter silica-air fiber waveguides,??? in OSA Trends in Optics and Photonics Series (TOPS) Vol. 96, Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Technical Digest, Postconference Edition (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC).

Phys. Rev. B

F. Quochi, M. Dinu, L. N. Pfeiffer, K. W. West, C. Kerbage, R. S. Windeler, and B. J. Eggleton, ???Coulomb and carrier-activation dynamics of resonantly excited InAs/GaAs quantum dots in two-color pump-probe experiments,??? Phys. Rev. B 67, 235323 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Phys. Rev. Lett.

See, for example, S. A. Diddams, D. J. Jones, J. Ye, S. T. Cundiff, J. L. Hall, J. K. Ranka, R. S. Windeler, R. Holzwarth, T. Udem, and T. Hänsch, ???Direct Link between Microwave and Optical Frequencies with a 300 THz Femtosecond Laser Comb,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 5102 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. V. Husakou and J. Herrmann, ???Supercontinuum generation of higher-order solitons by fission in photonic crystal fibers,??? Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 203901 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Science

See, for example, D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, ???Carrier-envelope phase control of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and direct optical frequency synthesis,??? Science 288, 635 (2000).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Other

J. Ye and S. Cundiff, personal communication (2004).

J. M. Dudley, personal communication (2004).

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

The mode-field diameter and effective nonlinearity γ as functions of core diameter for a cylindrical glass waveguide in air.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Group velocity dispersion of a 554 nm diameter and a 2.3 µm diameter glass rod in air.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

SEM image of the (a),(b) untapered and (c),(d) tapered fiber cross sections.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

The core diameter and outer fiber diameter measured at various points along the fiber taper.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Core diameter profiles of the tapered microstructured fibers.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Supercontinuum generated in (a) a 650 nm core diameter tapered microstructured fiber, (b) a 675 nm core diameter tapered microstructured fiber, and (c) an untapered microstructured fiber with 2.3 µm core diameter.

Equations (1)

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𝓓 HE 11 = 0.854 λ ( n core + n clad ) 0.6 ( n core n clad ) 0.4 .

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