Abstract

A mid-infrared supercontinuum (SC) is generated in ZBLAN (ZrF4BaF2LaF3AlF3NaF) fluoride fibers from amplified nanosecond laser diode pulses with a continuous spectrum from 0.8μm to beyond 4.5μm. The SC has an average power of 23mW, a pump-to-SC power conversion efficiency exceeding 50%, and a spectral power density of 20dBmnm over a large fraction of the spectrum. The SC generation is initiated by the breakup of nanosecond laser diode pulses into femtosecond pulses through modulation instability, and the spectrum is then broadened primarily through fiber nonlinearities in 27m lengths of ZBLAN fiber. The SC long-wavelength edge is consistent with the intrinsic ZBLAN material absorption.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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