Investigation of a widely-tunable subnanosecond BBO-based optical parametric amplifier
We report an experimental realization of a subnanosecond optical parametric amplifier (OPA) system in a beta barium borate (BBO) crystal pumped by the third harmonic of a passively Q-switched Nd:YAG microlaser system and seeded by the continuum generated in a photonic crystal fibre (PCF). It yields broadband continuous signal wavelength tunability in the visible spectrum range from 470 to 660 nm and the idler wavelength from 768 to 1450 nm. Besides the experimental data, the numerical simulation results of the BBO optical parametric amplifier are presented. The maximum output power of the subnanosecond BBO OPA is limited by laser induced damage in the BBO crystal by the pump radiation and seed radiation spectral power density. We also notice and discuss the effect of seed radiation on BBO OPA output radiation characteristics. The numerical simulations qualitatively agree with the experimental data.