Series in Quantum Electronics
Vol. 28

Lukas Gallmann

Generation and Characterization
of Few-Femtosecond Optical Pulses

1. Auflage 2002, 168 Seiten, 64,00. ISBN 3-89649-715-4

This thesis discusses amplitude and phase measurement techniques for the characterization of ultrashort optical pulses in the visible and near-infrared spectral range. The main emphasis is on methods that can be operated in the sub-10-fs pulse duration regime. Second-harmonic generation frequency-resolved optical gating (SHG-FROG) and spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER) are presented in detail. The performance and limitations of these techniques are analyzed, and design guidelines for their experimental apparatus are derived. Both characterization schemes have been applied to sub-6-fs pulses from a Kerr-lens modelocked titanium-doped sapphire laser oscillator. Whereas conventional pulse measurement methods fail with such short pulses of high complexity, the results obtained with SHG-FROG and SPIDER agree well with independent experimental data. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that with SPIDER, it is even possible to perform spatially resolved amplitude and phase characterization. The performance of SHG-FROG and SPIDER has been directly compared experimentally. Similar reproducibility of the measurements was found with both techniques. A new approach to frequency conversion based on ultrabroadband quasi phase-matched second-harmonic generation was demonstrated with sub-6-fs pulses at wavelengths around 400 nm. This new approach is discussed in this thesis and a method for the amplitude and phase characterization of the resulting pulses is demonstrated. Given the results presented in this thesis, the amplitude and phase measurement problem can be considered solved for most applications in the visible and near-infrared spectral range.

Lukas Gallmann received his diploma degree in experimental physics from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, where he joined the Institute of Quantum Electronics in April 1998. His research focused on the generation and characterization of sub-10-fs ultrashort optical pulses in the visible and near-infrared spectral region. He has written and co-authored about fifty scientific journal articles and conference contributions.

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