Abstract

Optical rectification as a detection technique does not suffer from the nonlinearity, saturation and large amplitude-to-phase modulation (AM-to-PM) conversion effects exhibited by semiconductor carrier-based photodiodes. In this paper we analyze the effect of self-group-velocity modulation as a mechanism for AM-to-PM conversion in traveling-wave optical rectification detectors (ORDs) and derive a closed-form expression for the AM-to-PM conversion gain. For a small signal amplitude modulation index m, we find the induced phase modulation index βi on the nonlinear polarization wave due to a train of femtosecond optical pulses in a bulk LiNbO3 traveling-wave ORD to be βi<3×108  m or βi/m151  dB. Cascaded χ(2) processes as well as the thermo-optic effect are also considered with the former producing conversion gain comparable to direct χ(3) while the latter is four orders of magnitude smaller.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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