Compression of fiber supercontinuum pulses to the Fourier-limit in a high-numerical-aperture focus

Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
Optics Letters (Impact Factor: 3.29). 06/2011; 36(12):2315-7. DOI: 10.1364/OL.36.002315
Source: PubMed


A multiphoton intrapulse interference phase scan (MIIPS) adaptively and automatically compensates the combined phase distortion from a fiber supercontinuum source, a spatial light modulator pulse shaper, and a high-NA microscope objective, allowing Fourier-transform-limited compression of the supercontinuum pulses at the focus of the objective. A second-harmonic-generation-based method is employed to independently validate the transform-limited compression. The compressed pulses at the focus of the objective have a tunable duration of 10.8-38.9 fs (FWHM), a central wavelength of ~1020 nm, an average power of 18-70 mW, and a repetition rate of 76 MHz, permitting the application of this source to nonlinear optical microscopy and coherently controlled microspectroscopy.

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    • "First, amplitude shaping was used to select the fundamental spectra by blocking undesired wavelengths, as illustrated by the shaded areas in Fig. 2. The selected bands of 930–990 nm and 1100–1160 nm were designated as green uncompressed and red uncompressed pulses, respectively . Second, phase shaping was used to compress the pulses by compensating the dispersion measured at the focus of the objective , as illustrated by the color dashed lines in Fig. 2. The SC spectral phase measurement and pulse compression to the TL were discussed in [27] and [28]. The compressed pulses spanning the spectral ranges of 930–990 nm and 1100–1160 nm were designated as green compressed and red compressed pulses, respectively. "
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    • "We demonstrated broad, flat SC spectra spanning 800 nm bandwidth, and recompression of a 200 nm wide self phase modulation SC to within a factor of 2 of the transform limit using only linear compensation. These types of PCF have also been a subject of recent research elsewhere [7] [8]. These highly stable and coherent supercontinuum sources are expected to have a range of applications, including optical coherence tomography, ultrashort pulse generation, frequency metrology and nonlinear microscopy. "
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    ABSTRACT: The predicted spectral phase of a fiber continuum pulsed source rigorously quantified by the scalar generalized nonlinear Schrödinger equation is found to be in excellent agreement with that measured by multiphoton intra-pulse interference phase scan (MIIPS) with background subtraction. This cross-validation confirms the absolute pulse measurement by MIIPS and the transform-limited compression of the fiber continuum pulses by the pulse shaper performing the MIIPS measurement, and permits the subsequent coherent control on the fiber continuum pulses by this pulse shaper. The combination of the fiber continuum source with the MIIPS-integrated pulse shaper produces compressed transform-limited 9.6 fs (FWHM) pulses or arbitrarily shaped pulses at a central wavelength of 1020 nm, an average power over 100 mW, and a repetition rate of 76 MHz. In comparison to the 229-fs pump laser pulses that generate the fiber continuum, the compressed pulses reflect a compression ratio of 24.
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