Self- and coupled-phase modulations of ultrashort laser pulses

R.R. Alfano and P.P. Ho

The use of light to control and to generate light is most important in the fields of lasers and optical communication. One dramatic and still useful nonlinear optical phenomenon observed by Alfano and Shapiro over 19 years ago arising from self-phase-modulation (SPM) is the supercontinuum. Self-Induced and Cross phase modulation processes are responsible for the generation of the spectral broadened supercontinuum ultrashort laser pulses. The super-continuum spans over 10,000 cm-1 from the UV to IR with picosecond to femtosecond duration. A femtosecond supercontinuum spectrum generated by passing a 120-fs 625-nm laser pulse through a 1-mm long carbontetrachloride liquid and dispersed with a grating (Fig. 1) is displayed on the front cover. In this report, we highlight the result and development of the current status of supercontinuum generation.

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