Abstract

Focusing positively chirped femtosecond pulses into nonlinear fibers provides significant spectral broadening and compression at higher pulse energies than achievable conventionally because self-focusing and damage are avoided. Here, we investigate the transfer of input to output chirp in such an arrangement. Our measurements show that the group delay dispersion of the output pulse, originating from the nonlinearities, is considerably reduced as compared to the initial value, by about a factor of 10. The mechanism of chirp reduction is understood by an interplay of self-phase modulation with initial chirp within the fiber. A simple model calculation based on this picture yields satisfactory agreement with the observations and predicts significant chirp reduction for input pulses up to the μJ regime. In practice, the reduction of chirp observed here allows for compressing the spectrally broadened intense pulses by ultrabroadband dispersive multilayer mirrors of quite moderate dispersion.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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