Mid-IR supercontinuum sources are a new type of source for the 2-4.5 μm spectrum, but their weight, size and power consumption has previously made them unsuitable for mobile sensing. We demonstrate a highly compact supercontinuum source with a weight of <1 kg and a power consumption of <15 W emitting a spectral brightness comparable to that of a synchrotron and covering the entire 1.8-4.4 μm spectrum. We will also discuss challenges and opportunities of working with a broadband source instead of a single line or tunable source and touch upon the future potential for supercontinuum reaching further into the mid-IR
In this talk we give an overview of recent advances in the development of high power supercontinuum fiber lasers with powers exceeding 50W and spectral brightness of tens of mW/nm. We also discuss the fundamental limitations of power scaling and spectral broadening and review the existing and emerging applications of this unique light source which combines the broadband properties of a light bulb with the spatial properties of a laser.
In this paper we demonstrate a 51.5 W supercontinuum spanning 405 nm to 2660 nm with endlessly single mode output, and a blue enhanced 33.6 W supercontinuum spanning 380 nm to 2575 nm. We also show results combining 7 SC laser outputs, resulting in 26 W visible power. This method of combining fiber laser outputs can be scaled up, creating a pathway to kW level supercontinuum fiber lasers with greater than 95 W in the visible part of the spectrum.
We report our recent advances on using coherent spectral broadening in normal dispersion photonic crystal fiber, followed by subsequent compression using a high efficiency transmission grating compressor to reduce the pulse duration of the pulse train generated by our mode-locked VECSELs from 400 fs, to close to 100 fs, where coherent supercontinuum generation becomes feasible. Using this approach we have, to date, generated pulses of duration 160 fs, and achieved average powers of > 0.5 W from the compressed output.