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High Power, Mid-Infrared Fiber Supercontinuum Light Source
Modern supercontinuum (SC) light sources are generated by non-linear interactions between ultrashort laser pulses and optical fibers. These light sources have high brightness and are spatially coherent. Output in near-ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelength ranges has been demonstrated. SC wavelength ranges are constrained by the transmission and dispersion properties of the fibers. Previously, output to 4.5 microns was achieved using fluoride glass fibers. In Phase 1, we achieved supercontinuum output to 5.8 microns in tellurite glass fibers setting a record for mid-IR supercontinuum generation. Further improvements into the mid-infrared region (meaning 6 to 12 microns) would enable a plethora of new opportunities including high-resolution infrared microscopy, remote sensing (standoff detection), and IR countermeasures. Indeed, because of the stability of our supercontinuum source, entirely new applications such as mid-IR frequency combs could be developed. In Phase 2, we will further improve the Phase 1 results by using better mode control.
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