Abstract

Optical pulse-compression systems based on bulk materials and hollow waveguides are compared by use of coupled-mode theory. Our analysis reveals an intuitive picture of the temporal and spatial nonlinear processes involved in pulse compression. Further, simple formulas are derived that give an estimate of the spatial distortions and of the self-phase modulation induced by Kerr nonlinearity. Finally, a parameter regime is identified in which self-focusing in bulk media is suppressed, resulting in a substantial improvement in the spatial beam quality of the compressed pulses.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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