Multiple-octave spanning high-energy mid-IR supercontinuum generation in bulk quadratic nonlinear crystals

Binbin Zhou (Invited author), Morten Bache (Invited author)

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Bright and broadband coherent mid-IR radiation is important for exciting and probing molecular vibrations. Using cascaded nonlinearities in conventional quadratic nonlinear crystals like lithium niobate, self-defocusing near-IR solitons have been demonstrated that led to very broadband supercontinuum generation in the visible, near-IR, and short-wavelength mid-IR. Here we conduct an experiment where a mid-IR crystal is pumped in the mid-IR. The crystal is cut for noncritical interaction, so the three-wave mixing of a single mid-IR femtosecond pump source leads to highly phase-mismatched second-harmonic generation. This self-acting cascaded process leads to the formation of a self-defocusing soliton at the mid-IR pump wavelength and after the self-compression point multiple octave-spanning supercontinua are observed. The results were recorded in a commercially available crystal LiInS2 pumped in the 3-4 µm range with 85 fs 50 µJ pulse energy, with the broadest supercontinuum covering 1.6-7.0 µm. We measured up 30 µJ energy in the supercontinuum, and the energy promises to scale favorably with an increased pump energy. Other mid-IR crystals can readily be used as well to cover other pump wavelengths and target other supercontinuum wavelength ranges
Original languageEnglish
Article number050802
JournalAPL Photonics
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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C 2016 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license.


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