We report a flexible technique for threshold reduction and output power enhancement in synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillators (SPOPOs) based on synchronized retroreflection of the undepleted pump using a collimating system and a delay line, which allows easy and independent adjustment of the spatial and temporal overlap of the retroreflected beam in the nonlinear crystal. The method permits initial synchronization of the forward and retroreflected pump by interferometry, providing threshold reduction before oscillation is initiated. We demonstrate the technique in a femtosecond SPOPO based on , where a threshold reduction of 22% and an output power enhancement of 70% are achieved compared with single-pass pumping, with no detrimental effect on the spectral and temporal characteristics of the output pulses.
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