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White-light continuum Z-scan

We have developed a new technique for the rapid measurement of the degenerate nonlinear absorption spectrum and the dispersion of the nonlinear refraction. We refer to this method as a white-light continuum (WLC) Z-scan [1]. In this method, a high energy, broadband femtosecond WLC generated from loosely focusing into a hollow chamber filled with pressurized noble gas is used to replace the single wavelength source (OPG/OPA) conventionally used in Z-scan experiments [2].

White-light continuum Z-scan

To distinguish the degenerate nonlinear response from the non-degenerate nonlinear contribution, we spectrally separate the WLC wavelengths by using narrow band pass interference filters (NBFs). These NBFs are placed on a computer controlled motorized filter wheel.

Recently, we have shown that a weak seed pulse (1 µJ compared to a 400 µJ, 775 nm pump pulse) can enhance the white light spectrum by nearly 4 times [3]. This enhanced spectrum extends our wavelength range from below 400nm to greater than 1000nm using the WLC as a pump source. For more info, see Ref. [3] and/or conference proceedings for T.R. Ensley et al. Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (2011).

White-light continuum Z-scan

[1] M. Balu et al. Journal of Optical Society of America B 25, 159-165 (2008).
[2] M. Sheik-Bahae et al. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics 26, 760-769 (1990).
[3] T.R. Ensley et al. Optics Express 19, 757-763 (2011).

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