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Observation of high-gain nonlinear acousto-optic amplification

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Abstract

We describe a procedure by which the optical and acoustic waves present in an acousto-optic beam deflector are strongly amplified through nonlinear optical pumping. This amplification is manifested as an increase in the diffraction efficiency of an acousto-optic beam deflector. In particular, we describe the design and experimental test of a prototype TeO2 device in which this diffraction efficiency was increased by more than 2 orders of magnitude under pulsed laser illumination. This high degree of amplification results from an acoustic gain mechanism that counteracts the usual attenuation of sound waves propagating in an acousto-optic medium. We discuss possible applications of this gain mechanism in a new class of nonlinear acousto-optic device.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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