Ultrafast laser pulses: non linear optics, control and characterization

Part I (Frederic Chaussard)

Basis in nonlinear optics

Nonlinear optical phenomena such as optical frequency conversion or Raman scattering have become commonplace in optical devices and materials thanks to the technological advancements in lasers producing intense fields with ultrashort pulses. This course is intended as an introduction to the concepts underlying nonlinear optics and aims at giving essential ingredients to understand its origins, consequences and typical applications.

The course covers :

  • a description of the origin of nonlinearities through a standard model based on the classical anharmonic oscillator and an introduction to nonlinear susceptibility formalism
  • the derivation of the nonlinear wave propagation equation
  • the propagation in anisotropic materials and the derivation of solutions regarding phase-matching conditions
  • the study of optical processes : second harmonic generation (SHG) or ferquency doubling, sum and difference frequency generation (SFG-DFG), optical parametric amplification and oscillation (OPA – OPO)
  • optical Kerr effect, Stimulated Raman scattering

 

Part II (Edouard Hertz)

Femtosecond lasers : characterization and spatio-temporal manipulation

The lecture deals with the characterization and manipulation of ultrashort laser pulses. The first part will be dedicated to the characterization of femtosecond pulses and how to extract some specific and important parameters: energy, spectrum, temporal shape, and wavefront. Second part will focus on the shaping of laser pulses in spatial and time domain. Applications and possibilities opened in the context of coherent control will be then discussed.

Practical works: laser technologies (Olivier Musset)

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