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sapphire femtosecond laser

M.Saghebfar, M.Kavosh.Tehrani, M.Moosavi

Abstract In this work the mode-locked Ti:sapphire laser the optical cavity.

based on the Kerr lens mode-locking (KLM) mechanism have A detailed description regarding the Ti:sapphire crystal

been analyzed. The aim of this paper is focus on the properties can be found in [5], [6], including:

experimental aspects of realizing the stability zone of mode

molecular/electronic structure, absorption/emission spectra,

locked Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser. In fact the stability of the

cavity was depended on the stability parameter. The stability

crystal growth techniques, doping level, figure of merit, etc.

zone have been obtained by changing the separation between

curve mirrors of the Ti:sapphire oscillator. The stability zone II. EXPERIMENTAL DETAILS

will influence the mode-locked output of the Ti:sapphire laser. The overall experimental setup of mode-locked Ti:sapphire

is illustrated in figure 1. The Z-shaped cavity are used for this

Index Termsstability zone, mode-locked laser, Ti:sapphire

setup. The feedback end mirrors and are the

laser, stability parameter, soft aperture.

high-reflector (HR) and output-coupler (OC), respectively. A

I. INTRODUCTION lens of focal length 100 , (L), was employed to focus

pump laser beam. The curved mirrors, and with focal

Among the ultrafast lasers, Ti:sapphire laser is the most length and are used to focus the laser into the crystal.

popular laser used. Current areas of activity using Ti:sapphire The distance between the curved mirrors controls the spatial

lasers include nonlinear conversion, high repetition- rate mode and stability range of the cavity.

systems, extended operating range and novel resonators. The

widespread applications of Ti:sapphire include LIDAR, Since the Ti:sapphire crystal and other optical elements in

dual-wavelength DIAL systems, fundamental research, the cavity are dispersive, the pulse is deformed as it passes

spectroscopy, as well as tunable Optical Parametric through them, due to the wavelength dependence of the

Oscillators (OPO) pumping and simulating diode pumping in refractive index thus a pair of prism, and needs to

solid-state lasers [1], [2]. control and compensate the dispersion in the cavity [7]. From

to with a length and from to OC with a

The optical Kerr effect is the nonlinear mechanism (i.e., length are two arms for this cavity.

intensity-dependent), which affects the laser light in both the

spatial and temporal domains. The effect is a third-order To prevent reflection losses in the cavity the Ti:sapphire

nonlinear process, where the refractive index of the material is crystal is inserted at Brewsters angle witch introduces

intensity-dependent [3], given by: astigmatism [8]. The angles and are defined for

astigmatism compensation.

(1)

weak-field part and nonlinear part of refractive index,

respectively.

Kerr lens mode-locking (KLM) is a process based on the

nonlinear effect of self-focusing [4]. This effect will produce

an intensity-dependent change in the refractive index of

material and creating a lens which is focused the beam within

the material. Two techniques can be used to achieve KLM

which is hard aperture and soft aperture technique. This

methods are common to induce losses on the continues wave

(CW) mode compared to the pulsed mode.

In this paper we provide a detailed description of the

theoretical and experimental physics of the stability zone of a

Kerr lens mode-locked (KLM) Ti:sapphire laser. Also we

Technology, Shahin shahr, Iran.

Figure 1. Schematic diagram of the experimental setup. (P1, P2 is

M.Kavosh.Tehrani, Institute of optics and laser, Malek_ashtar

prism, M1-M4 is mirror, L is lens, PR is polarization rotator, OC is

University and Technology, Shahin shahr, Iran output coupler PM1, PM2 is pumped mirror).

57 www.erpublication.org

Analyze the stability zones of mode-locked Ti: sapphire femtosecond laser

The Gaussian mode is represented by the complex beam

A. Optical Cavity Analyze parameter:

The useful technique to analyze light beam in an optical

cavity is using matrix. The beam at the system input is (7)

represented by a vector, , containing the distance, ,

above the optical axis and the beam angle, , with respect Where is the Rayleigh range of the beam given by

to the optical axis. The beam at the output of the system can be

and is the mode radius at the beam focus .

calculated by, , containing and [9]:

To calculate the CW complex beam parameter at any

reference plane in the cavity, one can represent the complete

(2) round trip in the cavity as an matrix with respect to a

chosen reference plane. Then we can find:

The simple schematic for the folded cavity is shown in

figure 2 which is equivalent with lens system for the matrix

analysis. For this system we can define the distance between (8)

the curved mirrors as:

natural location to calculate the complex beam parameter

is at the flat end mirrors, where the mode must arrive with a

Where and are the thickness and refractive index of flat phase front. For mode-locked operation the additional

Ti:sapphire crystal, is stability parameter (measures the Kerr lens must be considered. The presence of a lens-like

shift from a perfect telescope), and is focal length of effect inside the crystal dramatically changes the stability

curved mirrors. behavior of the cavity. We use the soft aperture technique to

mode-locked operation.

The working point for mode-locking is near a stability limit,

where the laser mode is tightly focused in to the crystal. By

substituting the Equation 6 with , ,

, and the , and are

equal to , and respectively.

The mode waist radius at the end mirrors as a function of the

separation, , between the curved mirrors is shown in figure

3.

resonator configurations.

values for where the cavity is spatially stable. The condition

for resonator stability is [10]:

(4)

Figure 3. CW mode size on the end mirror, M4 (OC) , as function of

Where and are the elements of an matrix that the stability parameter .

represents a single round trip in the cavity with respect to an

arbitrary reference plane. When solving the stability

requirements of the cavity illustrated in Figure 2, one finds

that the laser is stable for two ranges of values:

, (5)

Where

, ,

(6)

Then we can find the four stability limits according to the Figure 4. CW mode size on the end mirror, M3 , as function of the

mode size behavior on the cavity end mirrors. stability parameter .

58 www.erpublication.org

International Journal of Engineering and Technical Research (IJETR)

ISSN: 2321-0869 (O) 2454-4698 (P), Volume-3, Issue-9, September 2015

The two stability region are separated by forbidden zone. For strong self-amplitude modulation and adjusted to in

symmetric design whereby equal to , forbidden zone second stability zone.

will be removed, in other word there is just a single stability The stability zone will influence the mode-locked output of

region. When is shorter than , the position of the outer the Ti:sapphire laser [12]. In fact the stability of the cavity

stability region will shift away from the forbidden zone, but was depended on the distance of the curve mirror. In order

maintain the beam diameter. This shifting also occurs when to prove this, one of the mirrors in the cavity that is is

is shorter than . provided in micro scale of adjustment to adjust the separation

In this design unequal arm was used which is known as between the curve mirrors. The power produced by adjusting

asymmetric design. Therefore the stability region is split in of the mirror or the spacing between two curve mirrors

two as shown in figure 3 and 4. was measured.

The graph obtained in Figure 5 shows the curve of the second

C. Kerr Medium Effect

stability zone. The graph can be used to identify the

The additional Kerr lens in the pulsed laser mode must be occurrence of the mode-locked pulse. The near boundary is

taken into account in order to calculate the Gaussian mode for measured to be in the range of to .

Mode-locked operation. The nonlinear Kerr lensing process

depends on a normalized parameter, , where is the

pulse peak power and is the critical power for

self-focusing, given by [11]:

(9)

condition, , for the general cavity configuration

(with ) illustrated in figure 4.

spacing.

IV. CONCLUSION

In this study the stability zones of the mode-locked of

Ti:sapphire femtosecond laser have been analyzed. The Z

folded cavity type was set up in this project. The total length

of laser cavity is 150.5 cm. The separation between adjacent

mirror M1-M2, M2-M3 and M1-OC was 10.5 cm, 80 cm and

60 cm, respectively.

Both types of laser mode have been successful analyzed.

We find that the laser is stable for two ranges of values

bounded between four stability limits, The stability zone has

Figure 5. CW and Mode-locked mode size on the end mirror, M4 been obtained by changing the separation between M1 and

near the CW stability limit, , with normalized parameter . M2. For continuous wave beam diameter on the end mirrors,

At , the beam is collimated in the short arm and focused on

We see that the mode-locked stability limit is pulled in the long arm. This behavior is reversed at . In a Kerr

down to lower values of by the Kerr lens. medium the Mode-locked stability limit is pulled down by the

Note that the solution for the mode-locked mode size Kerr lens to lower values of .

illustrated in Figure 4 highly depends on the Kerr medium

(crystal) position. Changing the position of the crystal along

the beam affects the mode intensity in the crystal and, hence, ACKNOWLEDGMENT

the nonlinear response, leading to a different solution.

This research was supported by the Institute of optics and

D. Mode-Locked Pulse Occurrence laser of the Malek_ashtar University and Technology.

The Kerr lens mode-locking can be optimized by the

adjustment of the arm length ratio. Since the stability of the REFERENCES

symmetric cavity is easy to effect by the environment, [1] M. Rodriguez, Kilometer-range nonlinear propagation of

therefore asymmetric cavity is typically used for KLM laser. femtosecond laser pulses, Physical Review E 69(036607),2004 ,pp ,

1-5.

For soft aperture Kerr Lens Mode-locking an asymmetric

cavity configuration is predicted to be most favorable for

59 www.erpublication.org

Analyze the stability zones of mode-locked Ti: sapphire femtosecond laser

Performance, IEEE J. Of Quantum Electronics, 33(7), 1977, pp,

1221-1230.

[3] R. H. Stolen, Optical Kerr effect in glass waveguide, Appl. Phys.

Lett, 1973, pp , 294296.

[4] S. Yefet, Mode locking with enhanced nonlinearityA detailed

study, Opt. Express, 2013, pp, 1904019046.

[5] K. F. Wall, Titanium sapphire lasers, Linc. Lab. J, 1990, 3, pp,

447462.

[6] J. Dong, Ti:sapphire crystal used in ultrafast lasers and amplifiers,

J. Cryst. Growth, 2004, 261, pp, 514519.

[7] L. Arissian, Carrier to envelope and dispersion control in a cavity

with prism pairs, Phys. Rev. A, 2007, 75, 013814.

[8] A. M. Kowalevicz, Novel Femtosecond laser development with

application in Biomedical Imaging and Photonic Device

Fabrication, Harvard university, Ph.D. Thesis, 2004.

[9] H. Kogelnik, Laser beams and resonators, Appl. Opt, 1966, 5, pp,

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[10] J. Verdeyen.(1995, July 29.) Laser Electronics (3rd ed.).

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60 www.erpublication.org

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