Abstract

The f-to-2f interferometer plays a key role for carrier-envelope phase (CEP) measurement and subsequent stabilization. The CEP measurement typically relies on the application of two optical nonlinearities, namely supercontinuum generation and second-harmonic generation. Then the cascadation of these nonlinearities often leads to signal levels on the order of a few photons per pulse. We experimentally demonstrate that the introduction of optical gain into the infrared arm of an f-to-2f interferometer can mitigate this detection bottleneck and improve signal-to-noise ratios by 20 dB compared to purely passive schemes. We further show that this measure allows for residual phase jitters between the carrier and envelope of about 10 mrad, corresponding to record-breaking timing jitters in the single attosecond regime. Moreover, the method appears generally applicable to a wide range of oscillators in the near-infrared and may enable stable CEP locking of mode-locked oscillators that so far have resisted stabilization. Finally, we propose a parametric variant of the active f-to-2f interferometer that can be used for laser amplifiers with kilohertz repetition rates and below.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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