Jun 13 – 19, 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

A new strategy to build ultrafast lasers; Frequency domain Optical Parametric Amplification

Jun 17, 2015, 3:45 PM
CCIS 1-430 (University of Alberta)

CCIS 1-430

University of Alberta


Francois Legare (INRS-EMT)


High power laser amplification of octave spanning or even octave exceeding spectra is a formidable technological challenge since the universal dilemma of gain narrowing is only one of many problems on this path. The shortcoming of all present femtosecond (1fs = 0.000000000000001s) laser amplification schemes suffer from opposing conditions for either high amplification level (=> high peak power), or large amplification bandwidth (=> short pulse duration). Therefore, amplified pulses at the output of laser systems are typically limited to >5 optical cycles pulse duration at best. To overcome the universal dilemma of gain narrowing which prevents ultra high power lasers from delivering single to few-cycle pulses, a new amplification concept is proposed; Frequency domain Optical Parametric Amplification [1,2]. One cycle of the electric field in time domain corresponds to an octave of frequencies in the spectral domain. The key idea for amplification of octave-spanning spectra without loss of frequencies is to amplify the broad spectrum “slice by slice” in the frequency domain. Opposed to traditional schemes where laser amplification takes place in the time domain, we propose to amplify different spectral parts independently of each other in the spectral domain of a 4f-setup. For the first time, simultaneous up-scaling of peak power and amplified spectral bandwidth became possible. The device can be operated at any wavelength of conventional laser amplifiers, however, with the capability to amplify single optical cycle of light. A working laboratory prototype built at the Advanced Laser Light Source (ALLS) delivered record breaking parameters in the field of infrared few-cycle lasers; carrier envelope phase (CEP) stable pulses carrying 1.5 millijoule (mJ) of energy with 12 fs duration (= two optical cycles) at 1.8 micron wavelength. [1] B. E. Schmidt, N. Thiré, M. Boivin, A. Laramée, F. Poitras, G. Lebrun, T. Ozaki, H. Ibrahim, and F. Légaré (2014, Frequency domain optical parametric amplification, Nature Comm. doi:10.1038/ncomms5422). [2] P. Lassonde, N. Thiré, L. Arissian, G. Ernotte, F. Poitras, T. Ozaki, A. Larameé, M. Boivin, H. Ibrahim, F. Légaré, B. E. Schmidt (2015, High gain Frequency domain Optical Parametric Amplification, accepted at IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 10.1109/JSTQE.2015.2418293).

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