Title

Nonlinear systems for frequency conversion from IR to RF

Date of Award

2014

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Electro-Optics

Department

Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics

Advisor/Chair

Advisor: Joseph W. Haus

Abstract

The objective of this dissertation is to evaluate and develop novel sources for tunable narrowband IR generation, tunable narrowband THz generation, and ultra-wideband RF generation to be used in possible non-destructive evaluation systems. Initially a periodically poled Lithium Niobate (PPLN) based optical parametric amplifier (OPA) is designed using a double-pass configuration where a small part of the pump is used on the first pass to generate a signal, which is reflected and filtered by an off-axis etalon. The portion of the pump that is not phase matched on the first pass is retro-reflected back into the PPLN crystal and is co-aligned with the narrow bandwidth filtered signal and amplified. We demonstrate that the system is tunable in the 1.4 æm -1.6 æm signal range with a linewidth of 5.4 GHz. Next the outputs of seeded, dual periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) optical parametric amplifiers (OPA) are combined in the nonlinear crystal 4-dimthylamino-N-methyl-4-stilbazolium-tosylate (DAST) to produce a widely tunable narrowband THz source via difference frequency generation (DFG). We have demonstrated that this novel configuration enables the system to be seamlessly tuned, without mode-hops, from 1.2 THz to 26.3 THz with a minimum bandwidth of 3.1 GHz. The bandwidth of the source was measured by using the THz transmission spectrum of water vapor lines over a 3-meter path length. By selecting of the DFG pump wavelength to be at 1380 nm and the signal wavelength to tune over a range from 1380 nm to 1570 nm, we produced several maxima in the output THz spectrum that was dependent on the phase matching ability of the DAST crystal and the efficiency of our pyro-electric detector. Due to the effects of dispersive phase matching, filter absorption of the THz waves, and two-photon absorption multiple band gaps in the overall spectrum occur and are discussed. Employing the dual generator scheme, we have obtained THz images at several locations in the spectrum using an infrared camera that runs at a rate of 35 frames per second. We have demonstrated the ability to image 2 THz to 26 THz both in static and in real time conditions. We will present images of carbon fibers illuminated at different THz frequencies. Lastly, microwave generation was demonstrated by ultrafast photo-excitation experiments to induce non-equilibrium quasi-particle relaxation. Using a laser with a pulse energy of 1 mJ and a pulse duration greater than 120 fs (808 nm wavelength) incident on a charged, superconducting YBa_2 Cu_2 O_(7-d) (YBCO) thin film ring, the photo-response was measured with a series of microwave antennas. From the observed nanosecond response time of the transient pulse, we extracted the frequency spectrum in the GHz regime that was dependent on the incident beam diameter, pulse duration, power, and the physical structure of the YBCO thin film.

Keywords

Nonlinear systems, Optoelectronic devices Design and construction, Frequency changers, Optics, nonlinear parametric process, difference frequency generation, optical parametric amplifier, DAST THz wave generation, THz DFG, PPLN OPA, etalon OPA, CMC THz evaluation, CMC THz imaging, CMC laser line scan

Rights Statement

Copyright 2014, author

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