Abstract

Fiber-based sources delivering high-energy few-cycle pulses at high repetition rates are currently being developed in the near-infrared spectral range, thanks to the wide availability of telecommunication-grade optical fibers and components. Similar sources in the middle-wave infrared (mid-IR) spectral domain, however, are scarce, although such sources are of high interest for applications such as high-precision frequency metrology and molecular spectroscopy or as a seed source to reach further into the mid-IR via coherent nonlinear processes. Here we report on the design of a fiber-based source of 50-nJ energy 90 fs duration pulses up to 2950 nm, corresponding to 500 kW peak power. To obtain this level of peak power we exploit multi-solitonic fission and soliton self-frequency shift in large mode area fibers excited by picosecond pulses emitted at 2 µm from a megahertz repetition rate fiber laser. We leverage mature silica-based fiber technology up to 2.4 µm and restrict the use of fluoride fiber to the very last frequency-shifting stage. The level of instantaneous power and ultra-short duration achieved in this Letter pave the way to all-fiber format generation of an ultra-broadband coherent continuum in the mid-IR with profound implications for applications such as high-resolution molecular spectroscopy and imaging.

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Data underlying the results presented in this paper are not publicly available at this time but may be obtained from the authors upon reasonable request.

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