Abstract

In this paper we theoretically and experimentally investigate the optimal pulse settings to pump optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) in the transient regime. The theoretical analysis is carried out with an extended OPO rate-equation formalism that yields simple expressions when applied to rectangular pump pulses while fully taking into account pump depletion and back-conversion effects. The OPO buildup time is investigated in detail, leading to a very simple analytical formula. The study then focuses on engineering rules for the choice of the optimal rectangular-pump-pulse power and duration giving the best conversion efficiency for given input pump energy and OPO features. Making the most of a master oscillator-fiber power amplifier’s pulse-tailoring opportunities, experimental investigations covering pulsed operation ranging from nanosecond to microsecond pump duration are carried out in the case of a doubly-resonant OPO. Very good agreement with the theoretical analysis is obtained.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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