In previous work, the authors of this Optics Express article achieved mid-IR supercontinuum generation from a double-spike-shaped nanoscale As2S3-silica waveguide pumped by an erbium doped fiber laser (ref 17 in the article). This compact waveguide geometry provides high nonlinearity and excellent coupling properties with low threshold energy. To further improve the supercontinuum generation, in this article the authors report optimized dimensional parameters for the waveguide and adopt a mode-locked Cr:ZnS laser (central wavelength: 2.35 μm) pumped by an erbium doped fiber laser. With such a configuration, the nanospike waveguide allows to generate a spectrum that is twice broader when compared with a commercial As₂S₃ fiber system, with only one sixth of the pump pulse energy. It is expected that this stable and efficient supercontinuum generation technique can be employed in the realization of the first solid-state-laser-based mid-IR frequency comb.
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