Abstract

We show that thermal effects can lead to periodic mode hopping in cw optical parametric oscillators (OPOs). This mode hopping may occur as soon as two modes have different intensities at the point where they exchange their stability; this condition is easily fulfilled in OPOs that are triply resonant, or doubly resonant with a weakly resonant pump. We have observed such oscillations experimentally in a type  II OPO in both configurations. A simple thermo-optic multimode model reproduces well the experimental regimes. We expect that multimode instabilities based on this mechanism can be observed with various aspects in many experimental setups at high pumping rate.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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