Abstract

A nonlinear optical processor that is capable of true real-time conversion of spatial-domain images to ultrafast time-domain optical waveforms is presented. The method is based on four-wave mixing between the optical waves of spectrally decomposed ultrashort pulses and spatially Fourier-transformed quasi-monochromatic images. To achieve efficient wave mixing at a femtosecond rate we utilize a cascaded second-order nonlinearity arrangement in a β-barium borate crystal with type  II phase matching. We use this ultrafast technique to experimentally generate several complex-amplitude temporal waveforms, with efficiency as high as 10%, by virtue of the cascaded nonlinearity arrangement.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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