Design constraints of optical parametric chirped pulse amplification based on chirped quasi-phase-matching gratings


C. R. Phillips, B. W. Mayer, L. Gallmann, M. M. Fejer, and U. Keller


Chirped quasi-phase-matching (QPM) gratings offer efficient, ultra-broadband optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) in the mid-infrared as well as other spectral regions. Only recently, however, has this potential begun to be realized [1]. In this paper, we study the design of chirped QPM-based OPCPA in detail, revealing several important constraints which must be accounted for in order to obtain broad-band, high-quality amplification. We determine these constraints in terms of the underlying saturated nonlinear processes, and explain how they were met when designing our mid-IR OPCPA system. The issues considered include gain and saturation based on the basic three-wave mixing equations; suppression of unwanted non-collinear gain-guided modes; minimizing and characterizing nonlinear losses associated with random duty cycle errors in the QPM grating; avoiding coincidentally-phase-matched nonlinear processes; and controlling the temporal/spectral characteristics of the satu- rated nonlinear interaction in order to maintain the chirped-pulse structure required for OPCPA. The issues considered place constraints both on the QPM devices as well as the OPCPA system. The resulting experimental guidelines are detailed. Our results represent the first comprehensive discussion of chirped QPM devices operated in strongly nonlinear regimes, and provide a roadmap for advancing and experimentally implementing OPCPA systems based on these devices.


Optics Express






Phillips OE20141.31 MB