We theoretically analyze the influence of the Gouy phase shift on the nonlinear interaction between waves of different frequencies. We focus on χ(2) interaction of optical fields, e.g. through birefringent crystals, and show that focussing, stronger than suggested by the Boyd-Kleinman factor, can further improve nonlinear processes. An increased value of 3.32 for the optimal focussing parameter for a single pass process is found. The new value builds on the compensation of the Gouy phase shift by a spatially varying, instead constant, wave vector phase mismatch. We analyze the single-ended, singly resonant standing wave nonlinear cavity and show that in this case the Gouy phase shift leads to an additional phase during backreflection. Our numerical simulations may explain ill-understood experimental observations in such devices.
© 2007 Optical Society of America
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