We demonstrate an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based on random phase matching in a polycrystalline χ(2) material, ZnSe. The subharmonic OPO utilized a 1.5-mm-long polished ZnSe ceramic sample placed at the Brewster's angle and was synchronously pumped by a Kerr-lens mode-locked Cr:ZnS laser with a central wavelength of 2.35 μm, a pulse duration of 62 fs, and a repetition frequency of 79 MHz. The OPO had a 90-mW pump threshold, and produced an ultrabroadband spectrum spanning 3-7.5 μm. The observed pump depletion was as high as 79%. The key to success in achieving the OPO action was choosing the average grain size of the ZnSe ceramic to be close to the coherence length (~ 100 μm) for our 3-wave interaction. This is the first OPO that uses random polycrystalline material with quadratic nonlinearity and the first OPO based on ZnSe. Very likely, random phase matching in ZnSe and similar random polycrystalline materials (ZnS, CdS, CdSe, GaP) represents a viable route for generating few-cycle pulses and multi-octave frequency combs, thanks to a very broadband nonlinear response.
Qitian Ru, Taiki Kawamori, Nathaniel Lee, Xuan Chen, Kai Zhong, Mike Mirov, Sergey Vasilyev, Sergey B. Mirov, and Konstantin L. Vodopyanov, "Optical parametric oscillation in a random poly-crystalline medium: ZnSe ceramic," Proc. SPIE 10516, Nonlinear Frequency Generation and Conversion: Materials and Devices XVII, 1051615 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 31, 2018; Published: 15 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2292765.
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