Relaxed damage threshold intensity conditions and nonlinear increase in the conversion efficiency of an optical parametric oscillator using a bi-directional pump geometry

G Norris, G McConnell

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A novel bi-directional pump geometry that nonlinearly increases the nonlinear optical conversion efficiency of a synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillator (OPO) is reported. This bi-directional pumping method synchronizes the circulating signal pulse with two counter-propagating pump pulses within a linear OPO resonator. Through this pump scheme, an increase in nonlinear optical conversion efficiency of 22% was achieved at the signal wavelength, corresponding to a 95% overall increase in average power. Given an almost unchanged measured pulse duration of 260 fs under optimal performance conditions, this related to a signal wavelength peak power output of 18.8 kW, compared with 10 kW using the traditional single-pass geometry. In this study, a total effective peak intensity pump-field of 7.11 GW/cm(2) (corresponding to 3.55 GW/cm(2) from each pump beam) was applied to a 3 mm long periodically poled lithium niobate crystal, which had a damage threshold intensity of 4 GW/cm(2), without impairing crystal integrity. We therefore prove the application of this novel pump geometry provides opportunities for power-scaling of synchronously pumped OPO systems together with enhanced nonlinear conversion efficiency through relaxed damage threshold intensity conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3993-3999
Number of pages7
JournalOptics Express
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010


  • electricity
  • nonlinear dynamics
  • optical phenomena
  • optics and photonics
  • oscillometry
  • microscopy
  • generation
  • light

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