Abstract

A femtosecond optical parametric oscillator (OPO) pumped by the second harmonic of a Yb:KGW solid-state oscillator was investigated. A comparison between lithium triborate (LBO) and barium borate (BBO) crystals was carried out, with particular attention to the impact of phase mismatch on pulse characteristics. The phase mismatch induces cascaded nonlinearity, which acts as an effective nonlinear refractive index. Negative group delay dispersion of the resonator and the effective nonlinear refractive index allows soliton-like pulse formation with varying pulse durations and a bandwidth-limited time-bandwidth product. Deviation from the soliton equation was observed when intracavity power was varied. The measured pulse durations were lower than the classical soliton duration, indicating that the pulses were not classical solitons. A Z-scan experiment was used to determine nonlinear refractive indices under conditions identical to those in the oscillator cavity. Unexpectedly, the signs of nonlinear refraction as measured by the Z scan and indirectly observed in the OPO proved to be the opposite. This sign reversal could be interpreted in terms of the competing cascaded nonlinearities corresponding to self-phase modulation and cross-phase modulation between the signal and the pump pulses in the nonlinear OPO crystal.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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