In this JOSA B article Garejev and co-authors present a comparative study of supercontinuum generation by pulses at a wavelength of 2.3 µm in fused silica, yttrium aluminum garnet, and lithium fluoride. For input powers of the order of the critical power for self-focusing a dramatic spectral broadening is recorded, covering almost four octaves. The role of the pulse compression induced by the anomalous group velocity dispersion is highlighted, along with the specific features related to the different properties of the three materials. The experimental results help to determine an optimum value of the pump energy leading to the broadest output spectrum. The findings of the work presented in this article thus suggest the existence of a set of pumping parameters which optimize the process of supercontinuum generation in all materials under this propagation regime. This result can be of key importance for applications in fields such as infrared spectroscopy and microscopy, surgery, and metrology.
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