Abstract

Strongly coupled nonlinear spatiotemporal dynamics of ultrashort mid-infrared pulses undergoing self-focusing simultaneously with soliton self-compression in an anomalously dispersive, highly nonlinear solid semiconductor is shown to enable the generation of multioctave supercontinua with spectra spanning the entire mid-infrared range and compressible to subcycle pulse widths. With 7.9 μm, 150 fs, 2 μJ, 1 kHz pulses used as a driver, 1.2 cycle pulses of mid-infrared supercontinuum radiation with a spectrum spanning the range of wavelengths from 3 to 18 μm were generated in a 5 mm GaAs plate. Further compression of these pulses to subcycle pulse widths is possible through compensation of the residual phase shift.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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