Over the last decade there have been spectacular developments in ultrafast laser technology, due to the introduction of solid state active materials and of new mode-locking and amplification techniques. These advances, together with the discovery of new nonlinear optical crystals, have fostered the introduction of ultrafast optical parametric amplifiers as a practical source of femtosecond pulses tunable across the visible and infrared spectral ranges. This article summarizes the recent progress in the development of ultrafast optical parametric amplifiers, giving the basic design principles for different frequency ranges and in addition presenting some advanced designs for the generation of ultrabroadband, few-optical-cycle pulses. Finally, we also briefly discuss the possibility of applying parametric amplification schemes to large-scale, petawatt-level systems.
Review of Scientific Instruments
- Pub Date:
- January 2003
- Ultrafast processes;
- optical pulse generation and pulse compression;
- Optical parametric oscillators and amplifiers;
- Modulation tuning and mode locking