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High power, frequency agile comb spectroscopy in the mid-infrared enabled by a continuous-wave optical parametric oscillator

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posted on 2023-09-29, 16:00 authored by Adam T. Heiniger, Matthew J. Cich, David A. Long
While mid-infrared optical frequency combs have been widely utilized in areas such as trace gas sensing, chemical kinetics, and combustion science, the relatively low power per comb tooth has limited acquisition times and sensitivities. We have developed a new approach in which an electro-optic frequency comb is utilized to pump a continuous-wave singly-resonant optical parametric oscillator in order to spectrally translate the comb into the mid-infrared. Through the use of electro-optic combs produced via chirped waveforms we have produced mid-infrared combs containing up to 2400 comb teeth. We show that a comb can be generated on the non-resonant idler when the pump modulation is non-synchronous, and we use these combs to perform high resolution spectroscopy on methane. In addition, we describe the underlying theory of this method and demonstrate that phase matching should allow for combs as broad as several THz to be spectrally translated to the mid-infrared. The high power and mutual coherence as well as the relatively low complexity of this approach should allow for broad application in areas such as chemical dynamics, quantum information, and photochemistry.



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