12 May 2016 Analysis of continuum generation in bulk materials with a femtosecond Ti:Sapph laser
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Abstract
There is a significant need for the generation of highly stable continuum beams for a wide variety of optical diagnostic techniques. Of particular interest to this group are those techniques being used for chemical detection, such as Multiplex Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (MCARS), stimulated Raman scattering, two-photon absorption spectroscopy, and techniques involving ultrafast optical parametric amplifiers (OPAs). While photonic crystal fibers (PCFs) are popular and provide an ample method for continuum generation under very specific conditions, they are not particularly stable in unfavorable conditions and can exhibit energy fluctuations and lack of coherence. Bulk solid materials, commonly sapphire or YAG crystals, can provide incredibly broad and smooth spectra with better temporal and spatial coherence. In this study, we present an in-depth analysis of femtosecond continuum generation in sapphire and YAG crystals using a 40fs Ti:Sapphire laser. Beam size, pump pulse energy, beam profile, and a variety of focusing conditions are considered. In addition, an analysis of the thick lens theory required for collimation of the continuum beam has been conducted and experimentally verified.
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Sherrie Bowman Pilkington, Sherrie Bowman Pilkington, Stephen D. Roberson, Stephen D. Roberson, Paul M. Pellegrino, Paul M. Pellegrino, } "Analysis of continuum generation in bulk materials with a femtosecond Ti:Sapph laser", Proc. SPIE 9824, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVII, 98240Z (12 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223791; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223791
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