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Generation of sub-30 fs ultraviolet pulses by Raman induced phase modulation in nitrogen

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We demonstrate compression of ultrashort light pulses in the ultraviolet (UV) by impulsively excited molecular wave-packets in nitrogen filled in a 25 cm long hollow waveguide of 128 µm diameter. After compression with CaF2 prisms the pulse duration was determined by XFROG to be 23 fs with a time-bandwidth product of 0.50. The advantages of our technique are high efficiency and the possibility to use it also for pulses at wavelength shorter than 200 nm. The experimental observations are explained by a theoretical model.

©2005 Optical Society of America

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Figures (6)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1. Experimental setup; D1, D2 optical delay lines; DM1 dielectric mirror for overlapping of the fundamental and the THG; P1, P2 CaF2 prism; L1 MgF2 lens, CM1 curved mirror, focal length 20cm, HWG hollow waveguide holder with MgF2 windows; XTAL 10 µm BBO crystal. All mirrors shown as filled in black color and CM1 were metal coated (UV enhanced Al).
Fig. 2.
Fig. 2. Contour plot of spectra of the UV-pulses versus delay, 500 mbar N2 (left) and 530 mbar D2 (right), note the different time scales. The pump energy was 400 µJ at the entrance of the hollow waveguide having a diameter of 128 µm and a length of 25 cm.
Fig. 3.
Fig. 3. Selected probe pulse spectra from the recovery at 4.1 ps (Fig. 2) in comparison to the input spectrum, 500 mbar N2, 128 µm capillary, 25 cm long.
Fig. 4.
Fig. 4. XFROG trace (left), and intensity and phase (right) of the shortest UV-pulse with a duration of 23 fs obtained with a 128 µm waveguide, 25 cm long.
Fig. 5.
Fig. 5. Left side - Calculated evolution of the alignment function <cos2θ> in N2 at the time τ after the pump pulse Right side - Calculated change of the probe wavelength due to phase modulation.
Fig. 6.
Fig. 6. Power spectrum (red curve) and spectral phase (blue curve) of a probe pulse with 50 fs duration at delay τ=4.133 ps.
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