Abstract

We have experimentally demonstrated up to 20-fold compression and transform-limited spectral broadening of pulses generated in a synchronously pumped optical parametric oscillator (SPOPO). We have also developed a model of an SPOPO with pulse compression. Our model shows the compression to be due to group velocity walk-off combined with parametric gain depletion. We find excellent agreement between our model and the experimentally observed behavior of our SPOPO, including the prediction and observation of up to 20-fold compression. We discuss possibility of generation of the shortest pulses with highest possible contrast.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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