Abstract

We report the compression of intense, carrier-envelope phase stable mid-IR pulses down to few-cycle duration using an optical filament. A filament in xenon gas is formed by using self-phase stabilized 330μJ 55fs pulses at 2μm produced via difference-frequency generation in a Ti:sapphire-pumped optical parametric amplifier. The ultrabroadband 2μm carrier-wavelength output is self-compressed below 3 optical cycles and has a 270μJ pulse energy. The self-locked phase offset of the 2μm difference-frequency field is preserved after filamentation. This is to our knowledge the first experimental realization of pulse compression in optical filaments at mid-IR wavelengths (λ>0.8μm).

© 2007 Optical Society of America

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