High-average-power picosecond mid-infrared OP-GaAs OPO

Opt Express. 2020 Feb 17;28(4):5741-5748. doi: 10.1364/OE.380189.


We report a high-average-power mid-infrared picosecond (ps) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) based on orientation-patterned gallium arsenide (OP-GaAs), with wide wavelength tunability. The OP-GaAs OPO is synchronously pumped by a thulium-doped-fiber (TDF) master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA), seeded by a gain-switched laser diode. At a pump power of 35.3 W and a repetition rate of 100 MHz, a maximum OPO total average output power of 9.7 W (signal 5.7 W (0.60 kW peak power), idler 4.0 W (0.42 kW peak power)) is obtained at signal and idler wavelengths of 3093 nm and 5598 nm, and a thermally induced power roll-off is observed. To mitigate the thermal effects, an optical chopper is placed before the OPO to provide burst mode operation and a reduced thermal load. We achieved a linear growth in OPO output power over the full range of available pump powers in this instance confirming thermal effects as the origin of the roll-off observed under continuous pumping. We estimate the maximum peak powers of the signal and idler are estimated to be over 0.79 kW and 0.58 kW, respectively in this instance. A wide mid-infrared wavelength tuning range of 2895-3342 nm (signal) and 4935-6389 nm (idler) is demonstrated.