Novel coherent supercontinuum light sources based on all-normal dispersion fibers

Heidt, Alexander Matthias (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The concept of broadband coherent supercontinuum (SC) generation in all-normal dispersion (ANDi) fibers in the near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet (UV) spectral regions is introduced and investigated in detail. In numerical studies, explicit design criteria are established for ANDi photonic crystal fiber (PCF) designs that allow the generation of flat and smooth ultrabroad spectral profiles without significant fine structure and with excellent stability and coherence properties. The key benefit of SC generation in ANDi fibers is the conservation of a single ultrashort pulse in the time domain with smooth and recompressible phase distribution. In the numerical investigation of the SC generation dynamics self-phase modulation and optical wave breaking are identified as the dominant nonlinear effects responsible for the nonlinear spectral broadening. It is further demonstrated that coherence properties, spectral bandwidth and temporal compressibility are independent of input pulse duration for constant peak power. The numerical predictions are in excellent agreement with experimental results obtained in two realizations of ANDi PCF optimized for the near-infrared and visible spectral region. In these experiments, the broadest SC spectrum generated in the normal dispersion regime of an optical fiber to date is achieved. The exceptional temporal properties of the generated SC pulses are verified experimentally and their applicability for the time-resolved study of molecular dynamics in ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy is demonstrated. In an additional nonlinear pulse compression experiment, the SC pulses obtained in a short piece of ANDi PCF could be temporally recompressed to sub-two cycle durations by linear chirp compensation. Numerical simulations show that even shorter pulse durations with excellent quality can be achieved by full phase compensation. The concept is further extended into the UV spectral regime by considering tapered optical fibers with submicron waist diameter. It is shown that coherent SC spectra with considerable spectral power densities in the usually hard to reach wavelength region below 300 nm can be generated using these freestanding photonic nanowires. Although technological difficulties currently prevent the fabrication of adequate nanofibers, the concept could be experimentally verified by coherent visible octave-spanning SC generation in tapered suspended core fibers with ANDi profile. The work contained in this thesis therefore makes important contributions to the availability and applicability of fiber-based broadband coherent SC sources with numerous high-impact applications in fundamental science and modern technology.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konsep van breëband koherente superkontinuum (SK) in alles-normaal dispersiewe (ANDi) vesels in die naby-infrarooi, sigbare en ultraviolet (UV) spektrale gebiede word voorgestel en in detail ondersoek. In numeriese studies word eksplisiete ontwerpskriteria vasgestel vir ANDi fotoniese kristal vesel (FKV) ontwerpe wat dit moontlik maak om plat en gladde ultra-breë spektrale profiele te genereer sonder noemenswaardige fynstruktuur en met uitstekende stabiliteit en koherensie eienskappe. Die sleutel voordeel van SK genering in ANDi vesels is die behoud van ’n enkele ultrakort puls in tyd met ’n gladde en saamdrukbare fase distribusie. In die numeriese ondersoek van die SK generering is die dinamika van fase selfmodulering geïdentifiseer as die dominante nie-lineêre effek wat verantwoordelik is vir die nie-lineêre spektrale verbreding. Daar word voorts aangetoon dat die koherensie eienskappe, spektrale bandwydte en saamdrukbaarheid in tyd onafhanklik is van die inset pulsduur vir konstante drywing. Die numeriese voorspellings stem uitstekend ooreen met die eksperimentele resultate wat verkry is met twee ANDi FKVÕs wat optimeer is vir die naby-infrarooi en sigbare spektrale gebied. In hierdie eksperimente is die breedste SK spektrum gegenereer wat tot hede in die normaal dispersiewe regime met ’n optiese vesel behaal is. Die besondere eienskappe van die genereerde SK pulse is eksperimenteel bevestig en die toepasbaarheid vir tyd opgelosde studie van molekulêre dinamika is gedemonstreer. In ’n addisionele nie-lineêre puls kompressie eksperiment is SK pulse verkry in ’n kort stuk ANDi FKV wat in tyd saamgedruk kon word tot sub-twee siklus tydsduur deur liniêre tjirp kompensering. Numeriese simulasies toon aan dat selfs korter pulse met uitstekende kwaliteit behaalbaar is met volledige fase kompensasie. Die konsep is verder uitgebrei na die UV spektrale gebied deur ’n koniese vesel te beskou met sub-mikron diameter. Daar is aangetoon dat koherente SK spektra met noemenswaardige spektrale drywing in die golflengte gebied onder 300 nm, wat gewoonlik as moeilik toeganklik beskou word, bereik kan word deur hierdie vrystaande fotoniese nano-vesels aan te wend. Alhoewel tegnologiese probleme die vervaardiging van voldoende nano-vesels verhinder, kon die konsep eksperimenteel bewys word deur koherente sigbare oktaafspannende SK te genereer in koniese gesuspendeerde kern vesels met ’n ANDi profiel aan te wend. Die werk wat in die tesis vervat is, maak dus belangrike bydraes tot die beskikbaarheid en toepasbaarheid van vesel gebaseerde breëband koherente SK bronne met verskeie hoë impak toepassings in fundamentele wetenskap en moderne tegnologie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17780
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