Abstract

We report a high-repetition-rate (1–10-kHz) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based on noncritically phase-matched ZnGeP2 (ZGP). The pump source was an OPO based on periodically pole lithium niobate that was pumped in turn by a Q-switched diode-pumped 1-µm Nd:YAG laser. The ZGP OPO yielded continuously tunable output from 3.7 to 10.2 µm by tuning of the pump wavelength from 2.3 to 3.7 µm. At the optimal pump focusing, the minimum ZGP OPO threshold achieved was 2 µJ, which is to our knowledge the lowest ever reported for a singly resonant OPO. The output energy in the 68-µm range was >20 µJ, and the quantum efficiency of converting 1-µm radiation to the mid IR exceeded 10%.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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