Generating optical supercontinuum and frequency comb in tenuous plasmas

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There are several mechanisms by which the frequency spectrum of a laser broadens when it propagates at near-relativistic intensity in a tenuous plasma. Focusing on one-dimensional effects, we identify two strong optical nonlinearities, namely, four-wave mixing (FWM) and forward Raman scattering (FRS), for creating octave-wide spectra. FWM dominates the interaction when the laser pulse is short and intense, and its combination with phase modulation produces a symmetrically broadened supercontinuum. FRS dominates when the laser pulse is long and relatively weak, and it broadens the laser spectrum mainly toward lower frequencies and produces a frequency comb. The frequency chirping combined with group velocity dispersion compresses the laser pulse, causing higher peak intensity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number054402
JournalMatter and Radiation at Extremes
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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