Frequency Divide-and-Conquer Approach to Creating Ultrabroadband Frequency Combs in the Infrared
Optical frequency combs in the UV, visible and near-IR range have revolutionized precision spectroscopy and optical frequency metrology, and led to the creation of optical atomic clocks. I will talk about a new technique for extending frequency combs to the highly desirable yet largely inaccessible molecular 'fingerprint' mid-IR spectral range. The technique is based on a subharmonic optical parametric oscillator (OPO) where the frequency comb of a pump laser is conveniently transposed to half of its central frequency and simultaneously spectrally augmented, thanks to an enormous gain bandwidth at the OPO degeneracy. We were able to produce broadband combs reaching 1.5 octaves in frequency span, e.g. from 2.6 to 7.5 µm. The frequency combs produced are phase-locked to the pump laser and have intriguing coherence properties, which we studied by different techniques. This opens up interesting possibilities for trace molecules detection with unprecedented parallelism, sensitivity and speed.
More about the speaker: Konstantin L. Vodopyanov obtained his MS from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology ("Phys-Tech") and his PhD and DSc (Habilitation) from the Oscillations Lab. of Lebedev Physical Institute (later General Physics Inst.), led by Nobel Prize winner Alexander Prokhorov. Konstantin served an assistant professor at the Moscow Phys-Tech (1985-90), an Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellow at the University of Bayreuth in Germany (1990-92), and as a Royal Society postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Imperial College, London, UK (1992-98). In 1998, he moved to the United States and became head of the laser group at Inrad, Inc., NJ (1998-2000), and later director of mid-IR systems at Picarro, Inc.,CA (2000-2003). His other industry experience includes co-founding and providing technical guidance for several US and European companies. In 2003 he returned to Academia (Stanford University, 2003-2013) and is now a 21st Century Scholar Chair & Professor of Optics at CREOL, College of Optics & Photonics, Univ. Central Florida. Dr. Vodopyanov is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), Optical Society of America (OSA), SPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering, UK Institute of Physics (IOP). He has > 350 technical publications and is member of program committees for several major laser conferences including CLEO (most recent, General Chair in 2010) and Photonics West (Conference Chair). His research interests include nonlinear optics, mid-IR and terahertz-wave generation, ultra broadband frequency combs and their spectroscopic and biomedical applications.