Letter abstract


Nature Photonics 2, 48 - 51 (2008)
Published online: 21 December 2007 | doi:10.1038/nphoton.2007.253

Subject Categories: Spectroscopy | Nonlinear optics

Amplified wavelength–time transformation for real-time spectroscopy

D. R. Solli1, J. Chou1 & B. Jalali1


Real-time spectroscopy provides invaluable information about the evolution of dynamical processes, especially non-repetitive phenomena. Unfortunately, the continuous acquisition of rapidly varying spectra represents an extremely difficult challenge. One method, wavelength–time mapping, chirps the spectrum so that it can be measured using a single-shot oscilloscope1, 2, 3, 4. Here, we demonstrate a method that overcomes a fundamental problem that has previously plagued wavelength–time spectroscopy: fine spectral resolution requires large dispersion, which is accompanied by extreme optical loss. The present technique uses an optically amplified wavelength–time transformation to beat the dispersion-loss trade-off and facilitate high-resolution, broadband, real-time applications. We show that this distributed amplification process can even be pumped by broadband noise, generating a wide gain bandwidth using a single pump source. We apply these techniques to demonstrate real-time stimulated Raman spectroscopy. Amplified wavelength–time Raman spectroscopy creates new opportunities for the study of chemical and physical dynamics in real time.

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  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA

Correspondence to: D. R. Solli1 e-mail: solli@ucla.edu



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