Abstract

Tunable UV pulses shorter than 10 fs are generated by achromatic frequency doubling of a noncollinear optical parametric amplifier. With a suitable two-prism sequence we achieve first- and second-order achromatic phase matching and increase the natural bandwidth of the nonlinear crystal by a factor of 80. Extremely broad UV spectra with a Fourier limit of 2.9 fs are generated in a 360µm-thick β-barium borate crystal at a conversion efficiency of 20%. We compensate for the angular dispersion and the first-order chirp of the highly stable UV pulses with a second prism sequence and fully characterize the temporal pulse shape with zero-additional-phase spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (ZAP-SPIDER). Pulses as short as 7 fs are generated by controlling the higher-order chirp with a deformable mirror.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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