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Continuous-wave modulation of a femtosecond oscillator using coherent molecules

Abstract

We describe a new method to broaden the frequency spectrum of a femtosecond oscillator in the continuous-wave (CW) domain. The method relies on modulating the femtosecond laser using four-wave mixing inside a Raman-based optical modulator. We prepare the modulator by placing deuterium molecules inside a high-finesse cavity and driving their fundamental vibrational transition using intense pump and Stokes lasers that are locked to the cavity modes. With the molecules prepared, any laser within the optical region of the spectrum can pass through the system and be modulated in a single pass. This constitutes a CW optical modulator at a frequency of 90 THz with a steady-state single-pass efficiency of 106 and transient (10 μs-time-scale) single-pass efficiency of 104. Using our modulator, we broaden the initial Ti:sapphire spectrum centered at 800 nm and produce upshifted and downshifted sidebands centered at wavelengths of 650 nm and 1.04 μm, respectively.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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