4 March 2016 Octave-wide frequency comb centered at 4 μm based on a subharmonic OPO with Hz-level relative comb linewidth
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We study coherence properties of a more-than-octave-wide (2.6-7.5 μm) mid-IR frequency comb based on a 2-μm Tmfiber- laser-pumped degenerate (subharmonic) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) that uses orientation-patterned gallium arsenide (OP-GaAs) as gain element. By varying intracavity dispersion, we observed a 'phase' transition from a singlecomb state (at exactly OPO degeneracy) to a two-comb state (near-degenerate operation), characterized by two spectrally overlapping combs (signal and idler) with distinct carrier-envelope offset frequencies. We achieve this by generating a supercontinuum (SC) from the mode-locked Tm laser that spans most of the near-IR range, and observing RF beats between the SC and parasitic sum-frequency light (pump + OPO) that also falls into the near-IR. We found RF linewidth to be <15 Hz (a resolution of our spectrum analyzer), which proves that coherence of the pump laser comb is preserved to a high degree in a subharmonic OPO. Transition to a two-comb state was characterized by a symmetric splitting of the RF peak. Low pump threshold (down to 7 mW), high (73 mW) average power and high (up to 90%) pump depletion make this comb source very attractive for numerous applications including trace molecular detection and chemical sensing with massively parallel spectral data acquisition.
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V. O. Smolski, V. O. Smolski, J. Xu, J. Xu, P. G. Schunemann, P. G. Schunemann, K. L. Vodopyanov, K. L. Vodopyanov, "Octave-wide frequency comb centered at 4 μm based on a subharmonic OPO with Hz-level relative comb linewidth", Proc. SPIE 9731, Nonlinear Frequency Generation and Conversion: Materials, Devices, and Applications XV, 973103 (4 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2218035; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2218035

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