PHz-wide Supercontinua of Nondispersing Subcycle Pulses Generated by Extreme Modulational Instability

Francesco Tani, J. C. Travers, Philip St. J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modulational instability (MI) of 500 fs, 5 uJ pulses, propagating in gas-filled hollow-core kagome photonic crystal fiber, is studied numerically and experimentally. By tuning the pressure and launched energy, we control the duration of the pulses emerging as a consequence of MI and hence are able to study two regimes: the classical MI case leading to few-cycle solitons of the nonlinear Schrodinger equation; and an extreme case leading to the formation of nondispersing subcycle pulses (0.5 to 2 fs) with peak intensities of order 10 to the power of 14 W cm-2. Insight into the two regimes is obtained using a novel statistical analysis of the soliton parameters. Numerical simulations and experimental measurements show that, when a train of these pulses is generated, strong ionization of the gas occurs. This extreme MI is used to experimentally generate a high energy (>1 uJ) and spectrally broad supercontinuum extending from the deep ultraviolet (320 nm) to the infrared (1300 nm).
Original languageEnglish
Article number033902
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume111
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2013

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