Abstract

We report, for the first time to our knowledge, high-power femtosecond traveling-wave optical parametric amplification by use of periodically poled KTiOPO<sub>4</sub> . With a single pass through a 4-mm-long sample of 1.23-mm thickness we achieved 40% internal conversion efficiency and 5µJ of single-pulse idler energy near 3.8µm , using only 75µJ of energy from the output of a conventional 1-kHz Ti:sapphire regenerative amplifier. The 210-fs-long idler pulses were almost transform limited. We discuss the specific problems encountered in high-power parametric conversion, such as unwanted quasi-phase-matched upconversion processes for polarization configurations that utilize the largest (<i>d</i><sub>33</sub>) nonlinear coefficient and the related formation of color centers (gray tracking) in KTiOPO<sub>4</sub> .

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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