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.

  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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