Fiber optical parametric amplifier (FOPA) has gained its popularity in the telecommunication systems at the 1.5-um window for its gain, bandwidth etc. Unfortunately, its practical application at the bio-favorable window, i.e. 1.0 um, still requires substantial efforts. Thus, here we report a versatile all-fiber optical parametric amplifier for life-science (OPALS) at 1.0 um as an add-on module for optical imaging system. The parametric gain fiber (photonic-crystal fiber (PCF), 110 m in length) is specially designed to reduce the longitudinal dispersion fluctuation, which yields a superior figure of merit, i.e. a total insertion loss of ~2.5 dB and a nonlinear coefficient of 34 /(W•km). Our OPALS delivers a superior performance in terms of gain (~158,000), bandwidth (>100 nm) and gain flatness (< 3-dB ripple). Experimentally, we show that: 1) a wavelength-varying quasi-monochrome pump achieves a 52-dB gain and 160-nm bandwidth, but at the expense of a larger gain-spectrum ripple, i.e. a bell-shaped; 2) the birefringence of the parametric gain medium, i.e. PCF in this case, can be utilized to improve the gain-spectrum flatness of OPALS by 10.5 dB, meanwhile a 100-nm bandwidth can be guaranteed; 3) the gain-spectrum flatness of OPALS can be further flattened by using a high-speed wavelength-sweeping pump, which exhibits a 110-nm flat gain spectrum with ripple less than 3 dB. Finally, we employ this versatile all-fiber OPALS as an add-on module to enhance the sensitivity of a spectrally-encoded microscope by 47 dB over an ultra-wide spectral range.
Xiaoming Wei, Sisi Tan, Arnaud Mussot, Alexandre Kudlinski, Kevin K. Tsia, and Kenneth Wong, "Ultra-wideband fiber optical parametric amplifier for spectrally-encoded microscopy
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9720, High-Speed Biomedical Imaging and Spectroscopy: Toward Big Data Instrumentation and Management, 97200W (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 28 June 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2210811.4848767898001.
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