Abstract

To the best of our knowledge, we present the first demonstration of short-wavelength infrared image upconversion that employs intense picosecond signal and pump beams. We use a fiber laser that emits a signal beam at 1877 nm and a pump beam at 1550 nm—both with a pulse width of 1 ps and a pulse repetition rate of 21.7 MHz. Due to synchronization of high peak-power pulses, efficient upconversion is achieved in a single-pass setup that employs a bulk lithium niobate crystal. Optimizing the temporal overlap of the pulses for high upconversion efficiency enables us to exploit a relatively large pump beam diameter to upconvert a wider range of signal spatial frequencies in the crystal. The 1877 nm signal is converted into 849 nm—enabling an image to be acquired by a silicon CCD camera. The measured size of the smallest resolvable element of this imaging system is consistent with the value predicted by an improved model that considers the combined image blurring effect due to finite pump beam size, thick nonlinear crystal, and polychromatic infrared illumination.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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