We report on several ultra-short pulse compression schemes based on hollow-core photonic crystal fiber filled with a chosen gas-phase medium and undertaken in a versatile module coined “FastLas”. The scheme relies on dispersion management by both fiber design and gas pressure management to offer a highly versatile pulse compressor. Furthermore, the gas is also used to set the required optical nonlinearity. This type of hollow fiber based compressor is scalable with the laser wavelength, pulse energy and initial pulse-width. Among the achieved pulse compression, we list a self-compression of 500-600 fs ultra-short pulse Yb-laser and with energy range of 10-500 μJ. By simply scaling the fiber length we demonstrated pulses as short as ~20 fs for the whole energy range. Here, the self-compression is achieved through solitonic dynamic. Conversely, we demonstrated pulse compression based on self-phase modulation by adjusting the fiber and gas dispersion. Among the pulse compressors we have developed, based on self-phase modulation, we cite the compression of a frequency-tripled micro-Joule pulse-energy Yb-laser with a pulse width of 250 fs. The results show compressed UVpulses with temporal width in the range of 50-60 fs.
The effect of gas pressure, fiber length, and optical pump power on an acetylene mid-infrared hollow-core optical fiber gas laser (HOFGLAS) is experimentally determined in order to scale the laser to higher powers. The absorbed optical power and threshold power are measured for different pressures providing an optimum pressure for a given fiber length. We observe a linear dependence of both absorbed pump energy and lasing threshold for the acetylene HOFGLAS, while maintaining a good mode quality with an M-squared of 1.15. The threshold and mode behavior are encouraging for scaling to higher pressures and pump powers.
We report on an ultra-low loss Hollow-Core Photonic Crystal Fiber (HC-PCF) beam delivery system (GLO-GreenBDS) for high power ultra-short pulse lasers operating in the green spectral range (including 515 nm and 532 nm). The GLOBDS- Green combines ease-of-use, high laser-coupling efficiency, robustness and industrial compatible cabling. It comprises a pre-aligned laser-injection head, a sheath-cable protected HC-PCF and a modular fiber-output head. It enables fiber-core gas loading and evacuation in a hermetic fashion. A 5 m long GLO-BDS were demonstrated for a green short pulse laser with a transmission coefficient larger than 80%, and a laser output profile close to single-mode (M2 <1.3).
We report on the design and fabrication of inhibited-coupling guiding hollow-core photonic crystal fiber with a transmission band optimized for low loss guidance around 2 μm. Two fibers design based on a Kagome-lattice cladding have been studied to demonstrate a minimum loss figure of 25 dB/km at 2 μm associated to an ultra-broad transmission band spanning from the visible to our detection limit of 3.4 μm. Such fibers could be an excellent tool to deliver and compress ultra-short pulse laser systems, especially for the emerging 2-3 μm spectral region.
Raman-gas filled HC-PCF has proved to be an outstanding Raman-convertor, as illustrated by the generation of more than 5 octaves wide Raman comb using a hydrogen-filled Kagome HC-PCF pumped with high power picosecond-laser, or the generation of multiline Raman-source in the UV-Vis using a very compact system pumped with micro-chip laser. Whilst these demonstrations are promising, a principal challenge for the industrialization of such a Raman source is its lifetime as the H2 diffusion through silica is high enough to leak out from the fiber within only a few months. Here, we report on a HC-PCF based Raman multiline source with a very long life-span. The system consists of hydrogen filled ultra-low loss HC-PCF contained in highly sealed box, coined CombBox, and pumped with a 532 nm micro-chip laser. This combination is a turnkey multiline Raman-source with a "shoe box" size. The CombBox is a robust and compact component that can be integrated and pumped with any common pulsed laser. When pumped with a 32 mW average power and 1 ns frequency-doubled Nd:Yag microchip laser, this Raman-source generates 24 lines spanning from 355 to 745 nm, and a peak power density per line of 260 mW/nm for the strongest lines. Both the output power and the spectrum remained constant over its monitoring duration of more than six months. The spectrum of this multiline laser superimposes with no less than 17 absorption peaks of fluorescent dyes from the Alexa Fluor family used as biological markers.
We report on a Hollow Core-Photonic Crystal Fiber (HC-PCF) based high power ultra-short pulse laser beam delivery system (GLO-BDS) that combines ease-of-use, high laser-coupling efficiency, robustness and industrial compatible cabling. The GLO-BDS comprises a pre-aligned laser-injection head, a sheath cable protected HC-PCF and a modular fiber-output head. It enables fiber-core gas loading and evacuation in a hermetic fashion. 5 m long GLO-BDS were demonstrated for Yb USP laser, Ti:Sapphire laser and frequency-doubled Yb USP laser. They all exhibit a transmission coefficient larger than 80%, and a laser output profile close to single mode (M2 <1.3).