Abstract

We introduce two static methods to break the phase-matching symmetry in third harmonic generation with a focused Gaussian beam in the tight focusing limit, dramatically increasing the conversion efficiency and mode quality. Both rely on inhibiting harmonic generation immediately after the beam waist, preventing the near perfect cancellation of the third harmonic generation (THG) from before and after the focus. The first method involves placing a thin metal septum at the waist: the laser drills a small pinhole, which, in turn, disrupts the beam focus after the pinhole. The second method is based on placing a large χ(3) gas before the focus and a small χ(3) gas after the focus.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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