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Group picnic 2015

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CLEO 2018 group dinner

Dispersed, visible supercontinuum

Group photo - Logan's last day

Imaging - Gland

Our Research

We are currently focused on nonlinear wave phenomena in optical fibers. In one project, we develop fiber lasers that generate ultrashort light pulses. In another, we investigate nonlinear wave propagation in multimode fibers. See below for our most recent publications.

Henry_MMMamyshev

Multimode Mamyshev oscillator

Henry Haig, Pavel Sidorenko, Anirban Dhar, Nilotpal Choudhury, Ranjan Sen, Demetrios Christodoulides, and Frank Wise, "Multimode Mamyshev oscillator," Opt. Lett. 47, 46-49 (2022)

Regular mode-locked lasers make short light pulses by synchronization or “locking” of many longitudinal cavity modes. It was recently shown that the transverse modes of a cavity can also be synchronized in a similar— but more general— form of mode-locking known as “spatiotemporal mode-locking” (STML). These lasers make ultrafast pulses that have spatial structure due to the many transverse modes involved. Understanding of this phenomenally complex phenomenon is limited: STML has so far been demonstrated a handful of times in relatively similar types of multimode fiber lasers. In this project, we study STML in a very different type of cavity architecture— the Mamyshev oscillator. The laser supports a vast array of mode-locked states. Learning to control these states in a meaningful way is a long-term goal which might enable gigawatt-class fiber lasers, or fiber lasers that generate purposefully-structured light for applications.

Henry_AllFiberMamyshev

Megawatt pulses from an all-fiber and self-starting femtosecond oscillator

Henry Haig, Pavel Sidorenko, Robert Thorne, and Frank Wise, "Megawatt pulses from an all-fiber and self-starting femtosecond oscillator," Opt. Lett. 47, 762-765 (2022)

Mamyshev Oscillators are a relatively new type of fiber laser with extraordinary pulse performance— these lasers generate the highest peak-power pulses from femtosecond fiber lasers by over a factor of 10. Mamyshev oscillators should be excellent tools for applications like microscopy and micromachining, but there’s a catch: most Mamyshev oscillators are impractical for applications outside laser labs since they need another mode-locked laser to start and are relatively complicated and expensive. In this project we designed a Mamyshev oscillator that solves these practical problems and comes in a totally fiber-integrated, ready-for-applications format. The laser generates pulses on par with those from much more complex Mamyshev oscillators, and remarkably starts with some simple electronics rather than an additional mode-locked laser. The pulse energy (80 nJ) and duration (40 fs) advances the state-of-the-art for all-fiber, self-starting lasers by 20x, and should be scalable by another factor of 5 with large-mode-area fiber.

Starting Dynamics of Linear Mamyshev Oscillator

Starting dynamics of a linear-cavity femtosecond Mamyshev oscillator

Yi-Hao Chen, Pavel Sidorenko, Robert Thorne, Frank Wise “Starting dynamics of a linear-cavity femtosecond Mamyshev oscillator,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 38, 743-748 (2021) 

This paper is chosen as Spotlight on Optics.

Mamyshev oscillator is a laser that not only generates strong pulses but is also capable of maintaining environmental stability. However, starting becomes a challenge due to the suppression of noise from continuous-wave (CW) lasing. Solutions to starting are to start with an external seed pulse, overlapped filter passbands to allow CW lasing, or self-seeding with a NPE starting arm described by Pavel et al. Here we proposed another solution to starting with pump modulation. It requires no mechanical flipping such as self-seeding and is demonstrated with full electronic control (Please watch the demonstration video here). Furthermore, it is demonstrated to reach a higher pulse energy by later increasing the filter separation. The laser is found to start reliably with pump modulation of a high repetition rate (>70 kHz) due to the emergence of a modulated mode-locked state. Besides, we found that damage from SBS constantly occurred in a linear cavity such that adding Faraday rotators is required.

Normal-dispersion fiber optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification

Normal-dispersion fiber optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification

Walter Fu and Frank W. Wise, “Normal-dispersion fiber optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification,” Opt. Lett. 43, 5331-5334 (2018).

An ongoing limitation of fiber lasers is their lack of broad wavelength tunability. Here, we address this problem using fiber optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (FOPCPA), which combines the energy capacity of chirped pulse amplification with the spectral flexibility of optical parametric amplification and the practical benefits of fiber. Notably, this is the first FOPCPA to be pumped in the normally-dispersive regime, which permits phase-matching far from the pump wavelength.

The system operates by coupling a stretched, broadband pump pulse and a continuous-wave signal into a photonic crystal fiber. At each point in time, the monochromatic signal interacts via four-wave-mixing with a different wavelength of the chirped pump, resulting in an idler that is chirped in exactly the same manner as the pump. Scalability follows from the timescale-invariance of this process: stretching the pump at constant peak power likewise stretches the idler at constant peak power, increasing the energy without affecting the dechirped duration. By exploiting this property, we are able to convert pulses from the Yb-band to the important bio-imaging window near 1300 nm, with energies of >100 nJ and femtosecond-scale durations.

Self-seeded, multi-megawatt, Mamyshev oscillator

Self-seeded, multi-megawatt, Mamyshev oscillator

P. Sidorenko, W. Fu, L. G. Wright, M. Olivier, and F. W. Wise, “Self-seeded, multi-megawatt, Mamyshev oscillator,” Opt. Lett. 43, 2672-2675 (2018).

As was shown by Liu et al., the pulses from a Mamyshev oscillator can be enhanced by increasing the spectral separation between the two bandpass filters. However, this comes at a cost: the same mechanism that strongly stabilizes the pulse against continuous-wave breakthrough also suppresses the weak electric field fluctuations that are needed to initiate pulse formation. Thus, a Mamyshev oscillator may be constructed that supports very high-energy pulses, but which can be mode-locked only with the aid of an external seed source. In this paper, we address this problem by showing how a simple auxiliary cavity--a "starting arm"--may be embedded into a Mamyshev oscillator, enabling the oscillator to seed itself at the flip of a mirror. A video of this process can be viewed here. We have furthermore scaled part of the cavity to fiber with a 10-micron core diameter. The result is a fiber oscillator with self-starting-like behavior that can deliver 190-nJ, 35-fs pulses without any external amplification, for an unprecedented peak power of 3 MW after dechirping.

Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers

Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers

L.G. Wright, D.N. Christodoulides, and F.W. Wise (2017) “Spatiotemporal mode-locking in multimode fiber lasers,” Science 358 (6359), 94-97.

Unlike a conventional single-mode, 'one-dimensional' laser, the frequencies of a multimode, multidimensional laser are ordinarily very complicated (figure below, top left, where different colors correspond to different spatial modes). However, we showed that, for a properly designed laser (bottom), the laser's frequencies would adjust automatically into an organized, synchronized pattern (figure top right), corresponding to the emission of a 3D, multimode laser pulse at regular intervals. Pulses from this laser might eventually allow very sophisticated light-matter interactions, especially with complex molecules (different modes of the laser may interact with different 'modes', specific transitions, of molecules or other matter). We have some moderately crazy ideas to realize PW or even EW (exawatt) lasers with this approach.

Simple depiction of spatiotemporal mode-locking

Recent News:

Michael_Graduate

6/2/2022 – Congratulations to Dr. Michael Buttolph on completing his B Exam! Wish him a bright future!

Yi-Hao Chen_1

3/23/2022 – Congratulations to Yi-Hao Chen on being selected as the winner of the 2021 JOSA B Emerging Researcher Best Paper Prize!

1/9/2020 – Frank returns from speaking at the 50th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE). 

6/4/2019 – Congrats to Dr. Walter Fu on completing his B Exam! Best to luck to him and all his future endeavors. Check out Walter, Zimu and Frank at the May commencement ceremony: