Abstract

We describe temporal compression of ultrabroadband, few microjoule mid-infrared (mid-IR) pulses from a noncollinear optical parametric amplifier (NOPA) employed in a sum-frequency generation (SFG) vibrational spectroscopic system, operating in total-internal-reflection geometry. The propagation of the mid-IR beam through optical materials results in a significant temporal chirp at the probed interface, which is analyzed and corrected by properly managing the total dispersion of materials introduced into the mid-IR beam path. By employing the simultaneous spatial and temporal focusing of the broadband infrared pulses at the probed interface, we achieve a sub-50-fs full width at half-maximum (FWHM) for the instrument response function, measured via SFG cross correlation of the ultrashort mid-IR pulses with an ultrashort (30fs) near-IR pulse from a synchronized, independently tunable NOPA. From the SFG cross-correlation FWHM, we extract a sub-30-fs mid-IR pulse duration, making it a suitable SFG spectroscopic system to investigate vibrational dynamics in hydrogen-bonded systems at interfaces.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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