The mid-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum is an active field of laser science with imminent applications ranging through diagnostic medicine, free-space communications, process control, and trace gas detection. Given the wealth of applications within this spectral window, the technology for mid-IR sources of coherent radiation is still in development. Existing techniques for mid-IR lasers employ solid-state heterostructure devices, gas lasers, mid-IR lasing media, and nonlinear frequency conversion. The latter approach is a reliable method to harness the available near-infrared laser technology and nonlinear media for efficient mid-IR generation. We envision a compact, high-power, and wavelength-diverse implementation for a mid-IR source, based on a near-infrared, Q-switched diode-pumped solid-state laser and both the second- and third-order optical non-linearities. Through use of stimulated Raman scattering and optical parametric oscillation, we discuss methods to generate multi-line, tunable emission at 3-6 micron wavelength range. We also outline the scalability and the benefits of the proposed design for multi-band applications, where many distinct wavelengths could be utilized. Details regarding the project planning and the expected impact are also given.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics/laser physics
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