Mechanical phase matching of birefringent non-linear crystals

Abstract : Second-order nonlinear processes such as second harmonic generation or parametric amplification have found numerous applications in the scientific and industrial world, from micromachining to petawatt laser facilities. These nonlinear interactions are mostly carried out in birefringent crystals because of their low cost and the possibility to operate at high powers Phase-matching configurations in birefringent crystals are determined by their refractive indexes. Here, we show that an important mechanical stress can be used to significantly change the phase-matching properties of a birefringent crystal. As an example, we demonstrate the shift of second harmonic non-critical phase matching wavelength of LiB3O5 (LBO) crystal at room temperature from 1200 nm to 1120 nm by applying compressive forces up to 100 MPa. We believe that this mechanical phase matching can be used as an additional degree of freedom to optimize nonlinear optical frequency mixing geometries.
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Loïc Deyra, François Balembois, André Guilbaud, Philippe Villeval, Patrick Georges. Mechanical phase matching of birefringent non-linear crystals. Optics Express, Optical Society of America, 2014, 22 (19), pp.23315-23323. ⟨10.1364/OE.22.023315⟩. ⟨hal-01305506⟩

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