Source paramétrique dans l'infrarouge moyen à haute cadence

Aymeric van de Walle 1
1 Laboratoire Charles Fabry / Lasers
LCF - Laboratoire Charles Fabry
Abstract : This thesis describes the design and construction of an ultrafast high repetition rate laser source in the mid-IR, for applications in strong-field physics and multidimensional molecular spectroscopy. This source is based on optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification, allowing the generation of few-cycle pulses.We first present some applications of these lasers, along with important parameters, to define specifications for the considered source. We then briefly outline the state of the art of similar ultrafast sources described in the literature, to highlight the variety of architectures and performances. In particular, several key points are identified, namely the nature and performances of the pump laser source, the method to generate a seeding signal, and the robustness of temporal synchronization between pump and signal pulses.We proceed to study the possibility of emitting a seed signal around 1.55 µm wavelength by supercontinuum generation in a bulk YAG crystal from femtosecond pump pulses at 1.03 µm. A detailed analysis of the properties of the infrared spectral content of the supercontinuum is carried out, focusing on spectral bandwidth, coherence, shot-to-shot and long term stability, and spatial properties. This work allows us to conclude that supercontinuum generation is a valid approach to generate the seed signal.This leads us to define a novel architecture built around an ytterbium-doped fiber femtosecond pump source delivering 300 fs 400 µJ pulses at a repetition rate 125 kHz. The short pump pulse duration compared to bulk Yb:YAG or Nd:YVO4 based systems results in a number of important advantages. First, it allows efficient seeding at 1550 nm using supercontinuum generation directly from the pump pulses in a bulk YAG crystal, resulting in extremely robust passive pump – signal synchronization. The short pump pulse duration also allows the use of millimeter to centimeter lengths of bulk materials to provide stretching and compression for the signal and idler, which minimizes the accumulation of higher-order spectral phase. Finally, the shorter pump pulse duration increases the damage peak intensity, permitting the use of shorter nonlinear crystals to perform the amplification, which increases the spectral bandwidth of the parametric process. Additional experiments are performed to sort out the phenomena that limit power scaling in MgO:PPLN crystals. The OPCPA stages are all operated in collinear geometry, allowing the use of both signal and idler without the introduction of angular chirp on the latter. These points result in the dual generation of 70 fs 23 µJ signal pulses at 1550 nm and 60 fs 10 µJ idler pulses at 3070 nm from a simple setup.
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Aymeric van de Walle. Source paramétrique dans l'infrarouge moyen à haute cadence. Optique [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLO009⟩. ⟨tel-01461595⟩

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