Development of a sum-frequency generation spectrometer

  • Alaa Addin Mani

    Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Sciences


    This thesis describes the efforts of several years devoted to developing a Sum-Frequency Generation spectrometer in the LASMOS laboratory. The Sum- Frequency Generation spectrometer relies mainly on two tunable lasers, a nonlinear sample and a monochromator. Mixing the tunable laser beams on the nonlinear sample will result in the generation of an additional beam at the sum frequency (SFG) of the incident beams. Detecting the SFG signal and tuning one of the incident frequencies or both frequencies permit the characterization of the nonlinear response of the sample. In our setup, the first laser beam is tunable in the IR spectral region from 2.5 up to 20 0m and the second one is tunable in the visible spectral region from 400 to 700 nm. The generation of both tunable laser beams is carried out by the optical parametric oscillators (OPO) built around a LiNbO3, an AgGaS2 and a BBO nonlinear crystals. An additional difference-frequency generation (DFG) stage based on a tandem of KTP and CdSe crystals is built to extend the tunability up to 20 0m. A pulse-train structure is necessary for pumping the OPO. Pulse trains can be generated by the mode-locking technique. In our work, we focused on the mode locking of the Nd:YAG oscillator using a frequency-doubling nonlinear mirror (FDNLM). This technique combined with a two-photon saturable absorber (for example: a GaAs platelet) can generate short and stable optical pulses from a flash-pumped Nd:YAG laser oscillator at a low repetition rate. Pulses as short as 12 ps are generated at 100 MHz repetition rate. With this result, we approach the physical limit of pulse duration in the Nd:YAG laser. This all-solid-state technology presents the following merits: photochemical stability, fast response time, applicability to a wide spectral range, and simplicity. A theoretical model is used to analyze the domain of operation of this device.
    Date of Award16 Feb 2004
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Namur
    SupervisorPaul THIRY (Supervisor), Ghislain Blanquet (Jury), Andre Peremans (Jury), Eric FREYSZ (Jury) & Etienne GOOVAERTS (Jury)


    • Non-linear optics
    • Optical parametric oscillator
    • Sum-frequency generation

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