Wavelength conversion via difference-frequency generation (DFG) is a useful method to create coherent mid-infrared radiation from easily available near-infrared sources. GaAs as a nonlinear optical material offers a wide transparency range, low absorption, high thermal conductivity and a large nonlinear susceptibility (dl4 > 90 pm/V) [1]. The mature growth and processing technology of GaAs offers potential for low production costs and integration with near-infrared laser diodes. However, nonlinear interactions cannot be directly phasematched in GaAs due to its lack of birefringence. We have developed a technique for all-epitaxial growth of orientation-patterned GaAs (OPGaAs) which allows quasi-phasematching (QPM) of nonlinear optical processes [2], Second harmonic generation in thick film [3] and waveguide [4] devices has been demonstrated. We report here the first difference-frequency generation in thick OPGaAs of mid-infrared radiation, using near-infrared lasers.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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