Abstract

We demonstrate the direct generation of sub-two-cycle pulses by soliton self-compression of femtosecond pulses from a Ti:sapphire laser at 85MHz using a 4.85-mm-long highly nonlinear photonic crystal fiber. Sub-nanojoule, 41fs input pulses were compressed down to 4.6 fs without additional phase compensation schemes. To our knowledge, these are the shortest pulses obtained by soliton-effect compression of a laser oscillator. Efficient, near-dispersionless collimation of the fiber output was achieved with a simple lens and an octave-spanning double-chirped mirror pair. The full electric field of the compressed pulses was retrieved with a genetic algorithm applied to spectral and interferometric autocorrelation measurements, and the results are well described by numerical simulations.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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