LiSAF: an efficient and durable nonlinear material for supercontinuum generation in the ultraviolet

  • A. Šuminienė
  • V. Jukna
  • R. Šuminas
  • G. Tamošauskas
  • M. Vengris
  • A. Dubietis
Keywords: supercontinuum generation, femtosecond filamentation, ultraviolet


We have experimentally studied supercontinuum generation in an undoped LiSAF crystal using ultraviolet, visible and near infrared pump pulses provided by fundamental and second harmonics of amplified femtosecond Ti:sapphire and Yb:KGW lasers. We have found that the optical degradation of the crystal, manifested by gradual narrowing of the supercontinuum spectrum, starts much faster using infrared pump pulses. This is attributed to the role of impact ionization, which increases with increasing the pump wavelength. The most reliable operation is achieved with the shortest pump wavelength of 400 nm (the second harmonic of a Ti:sapphire laser), where LiSAF produces a stable, almost 1.3 octave-spanning supercontinuum spectrum with a short-wavelength cut-off at 252 nm and shows no apparent optical degradation for one hour of continuous operation at 500 Hz repetition rate without crystal translation.
Nonlinear and Coherent Optics