Abstract

Femtosecond pulses with center wavelengths between 470 and 750  nm are generated in a single-stage type  I BBO optical parametric amplifier pumped by a frequency-doubled 1-kHz Ti:sapphire amplifier. A high-quality white-light continuum is used as the seed. Pulse durations as short as 16  fs and pulse energies of as much as 11  µJ are observed. The quantum efficiency is 25% for both 7- and 40-µJ pump pulses. This unique combination of ultrashort pulse duration and high conversion is made possible by noncollinear phase matching that permits a sufficiently large amplification bandwidth. Simultaneously the group velocities of the signal and the idler are effectively matched. As a result widely tunable sub-20-fs pulses can be generated in a nonlinear crystal as thick as 2  mm.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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