Abstract

We experimentally and numerically investigate the spectral and temporal structure of mid-infrared (mid-IR) filaments in bulk dielectrics with normal and anomalous group velocity dispersion (GVD) pumped by a 2.1 μm optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier (OPCPA). The formation of stable and robust filaments with several microjoules of pulse energy is observed. We demonstrate a supercontinuum that spans more than three octaves from ZnS in the normal GVD regime and self-compression of the mid-IR pulse to sub-two-cycle duration in CaF2 in the anomalous GVD regime. The experimental observations quantitatively agree well with the numerical simulations based on a three-dimensional nonlinear wave equation that reveals the detailed spatio-temporal dynamics of mid-IR filaments in dielectrics.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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