Abstract

We propose a broadband pumped optical parametric amplification scheme for the generation of a micojoule few-cycle pulse centered at 1.8 μm. Owing to the opposite chirp of the broadband pump and seed pulses, an idler pulse with an FWHM bandwidth of 434 nm is obtained, which can be effectively compressed to a near-transform-limited duration of 13.1 fs by simply compensating for the linear chirp. The picojoule-level seed is amplified to microjoule level in a single stage with a pump pulse of 100 μJ, corresponding to an overall conversion efficiency of 9%. The presented scheme is potentially applicable in various nonlinear crystals with different kinds of femtosecond laser systems, which provides not only an efficient approach of down-converting a near-infrared laser with moderate energy to the mid-infrared region, but also a suitable seeding source in high-energy OPCPA systems.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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