4 November 2005 Simulation of high-intensity ultrashort pulse interactions with dielectric filters
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Modern table-top laser systems are capable of generating ultrashort optical pulses with sufficiently high intensity to induce nonlinear optical effects in many of the materials that are used in the construction of optical components. In this paper we discuss the interaction of such pulses with two types of dielectric filters: (a) dielectric stacks composed of a sequence of two dielectric layers with quarter-wave optical thickness and (b) rugate filters, i.e. filters with a refractive index profile that is sinusoidally modulated on the length scale of an optical wavelength. Our simulations were performed using the finite difference time domain (FDTD) technique to numerically integrate the Maxwell curl equations for both the electric and magnetic fields. This technique enables the reflection of an optical pulse from a multilayer dielectric stack to be accurately simulated and also allows the incorporation of dispersion and nonlinearity through an auxiliary differential equation. We present computer simulations of optical pulse propagation through dielectric filters for pulses with pulsewidths in the range 5-100 fs with peak intensities up to ~10 TW/cm2. At low intensities the reflective properties of the dielectric filters determined using FDTD simulations are directly comparable to the results calculated using the characteristic matrix method, while at high intensities, optical nonlinearity in the dielectric layers is responsible for a decrease in the reflectance of the filter and causes stretching and distortion of the reflected pulses.
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W. M. Dennis, Carl M. Liebig, "Simulation of high-intensity ultrashort pulse interactions with dielectric filters", Proc. SPIE 5989, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures II; Femtosecond Phenomena II; and Passive Millimetre-Wave and Terahertz Imaging II, 59890N (4 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.629957; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.629957

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