Abstract

Nonlinear effects present fundamental obstacles to the propagation of femtosecond pulses of detectable energy in single-mode optical fibers, inducing severe distortion even after a very short (a few meters) propagation distance. We show here that adaptive pulse shaping can overcome these limitations by synthesizing pulses that are self-correcting for higher-order nonlinear effects when they are launched in the fiber. This approach would not only affect optical communications but also yield benefits in various disciplines requiring optimized fiber-based femtosecond pulse delivery, for example, nonlinear imaging techniques such as multiphoton microscopy, material processing, and medical diagnostics.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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