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NLO term paper

Xuan Luo 12/11/08

Intracavity pumped OPO Interferometry
Abstract In this paper I present an overview of optical parametric oscillator-the basic mechanism and several advantages of it. One application of using OPO as a differential interferometer is explained in detail. The basic mechanism of OPO OPO is short for optical parametric oscillator, which consists essentially of an optical resonator and a nonlinear optical crystal. It is driven by a pump beam and generates a lower frequency under certain phase matching conditions through a χ (2) process. In the OPO the initial idler and signal frequencies are taken from background waves, which are always present. If the idler beam is provided from an outside source along with the pump beam, then the process is known as difference frequency generation (DFG). In the nonlinear optical crystal, the pump, signal and idler waves overlap. The interaction between these three waves leads to amplitude gain for signal and idler frequencies and a corresponding decrease (depletion) of the pump beam. The gain allows the resonating frequency (signal or both) to oscillate in the resonator, compensating the loss at each round-trip. The device is called singly resonant oscillator if the optical resonator serves to resonate only at signal frequency; and doubly resonant oscillator if at both. Since the loss is independent of the pump power, but the gain is dependent on pump power, oscillation occurs only when the pump power reaches a particular threshold level. In steady-state operation, the amplitude of the signal frequency is determined by the condition that this gain equals the loss. The circulating amplitude increases with increasing pump power and so does the output power. Some advantages of OPO The photon conversion efficiency of the OPO can be high, in the range of tens of percent. Typical threshold pump power is between tens of mill watts to several watts, depending on losses of the resonator, the frequencies of the interacting light, the intensity in the nonlinear material, and its nonlinearity. Output powers of several watts can be achieved. There exist both continuous-wave and pulsed OPOs. The latter are easier to build, since the high intensity lasts only for a tiny fraction of a second, which may damage the nonlinear optical material and the mirrors less than a continuous high intensity. The output frequency of an OPO is tunable. In order to change the output wave frequencies, one can change the pump frequency and the phase matching properties of the nonlinear optical crystal correspondingly. This latter is accomplished by changing its temperature or orientation or quasi-phase-matching period. For instance, with a suitable


for example . Since both pulses are part of the same cavity many imperfections of the setup cancel out automatically. output wavelengths from 700 nm to 5000 nm can be generated in periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN). One recent application—Intracavity OPO Interferometer Pulses oscillating inside the cavity of a mode-locked laser have a frequency spectrum and phase that is fixed to that cavity.the cavity length changes the resonator modes will also move to different frequencies. which implies that the OPO crystal is part of both the pump and signal cavities. Another important feature of the OPO is the coherence and the spectral width of the generated radiation. to a very good approximation. The non-resonated generated wave also exhibits narrow bandwidth if a pump wave of narrow bandwidth is employed. For the cavities to be “identical” for both pulses. The pulse will then adjust within several roundtrips to again be mode-locked and resonant inside the cavity. The purpose mode-locking mechanism is to lock the phase and intensity of the different resonator modes together across a large spectral range and thus create temporally short pulses. the two output waves are. In other words. When the pump power is significantly above threshold.NLO term paper Xuan Luo 12/11/08 range of periods. The spatial and spectral properties of a 355nm pumped pulsed ns-BBO OPO were improved by using type II phase matching and pump beam back reflection. The bandwidth of the resonated wave is very narrow (as low as several kHz). So far many efforts have been made to reduce the spectral bandwidth and the divergence of the OPO output beam. to that pulse will correspond a set of modes shifted in frequency by the ratio of the phase shift to the round-trip time. The 2 . In this way the OPO bandwidth was reduced by more than a factor of 20 to less than 0. coherent states (laser-like waves). To avoid backscattering from one pulse into the other it is however necessary to have the 2 pulses inside the cavity cross in vacuum or air. If . However. this configuration brings a new problem that the depletion of the pump by one pulse reduces the gain for the other one. If one of the two pulses that oscillate in the common cavity experiences a slight phase shift (with respect to the other). This condition is satisfied if the OPO is pumped “intracavity”.1nm. The development of compact high efficiency OPO which generate widely tunable coherent radiation with small divergence and high angular pointing stability is a currently a topical problem. and the divergence of the OPO beam was reduced in the phase matching plane by a factor of 5 to 1mrad. the gain medium should be part of the same spatial cavity mode. there is a coupling between the two signal pulses through the pump pulse. ν= φ 2πτ RT This difference can be easily detected outside the cavity by interfering both pulses and measuring the beat node they produce. with a time constant dependent of the energy relaxation time (energy storage time) of the pump gain medium.

For example. PPLN D Nonlinear index measurement: The OPO is pumped bidirectionally and an index change of n = n2 I is induced by the pump pulse due to self phase modulation. 600 400 Beat frequency (kHz) 200 0 -200 -400 -0. The two output pulses are made to interfere on a detector D after an optical delay line.5 × 10−15 cm 2 / W The result shown above is actually from a e . ν NL = 2π d λ n2 ( I + − I − ) 1 τ RT ∝ n2 I If the beat note frequency is measured multiple times corresponding to various intensity differences then we can determine the nonlinear index n2 . the PPLN used in the OPO has a n2 = 8.0 0.8 1.2 0. Experiment setup--Phase measurement method The figure shows the OPO cavity.0 1.4 0. If the pulse circulating clockwise has a different intensity from the counter clockwise pulse.6 0.4 -0. in which the crystal is pumped by two pump beams delayed with respect to each other (in blue). then a beat note will be detected in the interfering detector because the optical length difference changes.6 -0.5 × 10 −15 cm 2 / W .2 Peak intensity difference (GW/cm ) 3 2 Δν NL = 2π d λ n2 ( I + − I − ) 1 τ RT n2 = 8.2 0.NLO term paper Xuan Luo 12/11/08 intracavity pumped setup also allows us to utilize the much higher intracavity intensities of the pump laser.

X. Manko. Lett. Kuehlke. Opt. J. This leads to precise measurement of the nonlinear index of a material. X. Vol. “Synchronously pumped OPO with two pulses per cavity for intracavity phase measurements”.-C. Diels. etc. Boyd. SPIE. In this report a fine measurement of nonlinear refractive index is presented. R. Kondratyuk. W. Meng. (submitted CLEO 2009) 4 . Comm. Velten. ring optical parametric oscillator”. A. “Intracavity pumped optical parametric oscillator bidirectional ring laser as a differential interferometer”. Byer. Diels. J. Any unknown nonlinear medium inside the OPO cavity can be measured in the same way. and A. Thus the beat frequency is likely to be at the resolution of 1Hz so that a phase difference of 10−8 could be measured. Cross phase modulation term can be eliminated if the two pulses don’t overlap in the medium. “Features of the angle-tuned phase-matched OPO with pump beam reflected”. R. 233:167-172. O. V. A. It will be more stable using intracavity pumped OPO. Schmitt-Sody. Conclusion An intracavity pumped OPO is very sensitive tool to measure phase shifts between two pulses by generating a beat note frequency proportional to it. References 1. and R. D. N. Shagov. Batchko. Nonlinear Optics(2nd edition) (1993) 2. Meng. Opt. (2004) 5.NLO term paper Xuan Luo 12/11/08 The figure shown above is from extracavity pumped OPO. “Bidirectional. synchronously pumped. Proc. 26:265-267 (2001) 4. A. 5478. In practical applications the phase displacement can convert into length displacement or refractive index change. 189 (2004) 3.