Abstract

We show that cascaded second-order nonlinear-optical processes can occur in a convenient polarization-gate beam geometry. Our arrangement uses type  II phase matching, and both individual second-order processes (upconversion and downconversion) are simultaneously phase matched. This geometry can be applied to efficient ultrafast optical switching. With a β-barium borate crystal and lightly focused 250-fs, 7.3-µJ pulses, we achieve a switching efficiency of 15% and an on–off ratio of 3×104 on a pulse-length-limited time scale.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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