Abstract

In the presence of a nonzero idler beam or, equivalently, in the collinear degenerate configuration, optical parametric amplification (OPA) can be phase sensitive. When the photon deamplification mode is selected in the OPA process, amplification of the optical phase occurs instead of the usual amplification of photon number. We demonstrate for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, that the operation of a spatially multimodal optical parametric amplifier in the phase-sensitive mode can result in a significant redistribution of spatial frequencies and near-ideal beam angle amplification. A numerical model is presented for phase-sensitive parametric amplification via three-wave mixing. The model is applied to monochromatic beams and finite beam apertures. The sensitivity of gain to the incident phase, noncollinear angle, and aperture size is studied in particular. Simple conditions are derived for the operation of the optical parametric amplifier in the phase-sensitive mode. Potential applications of the concept are discussed.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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