Dispersion management and characterization of ultrashort laser pulses for the optimization of parametric processes
Abstract: This thesis set out to continue the development of a short-wave infrared (SWIR) optical parametric amplifier (OPA). The system is based on a Yb-ber chirped pulse amplification (CPA) laser delivering 400 fs long pulses, centered around 1030 nm, at 200 kHz repetition rate and 40 W average power. The thesis focuses on pulse characterization, through use of frequency-resolved optical gating (FROG), of the output of a previously implemented noncollinear optical parametric amplification (NOPA) stage, amplifying a white-light source with the second harmonic of the fundamental 1030-nm pulses. The results show significant improvements in the pulse structure of the fundamental pulses as well as the amplified white-light pulses through dispersion management optimization. In addition to the pulse characterization, simulations were made for a difference-frequency generation (DFG) and OPA stage, that will be part of the future setup. Most notably, the simulations highlighted two critical aspects: probable bandwidth limitations for the OPA stage and the importance of a smooth spectral pulse shape. The simulations also demonstrated the feasibility to produce few-cycle pulses.
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