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Optical Pulse Shaping and Applications

Event Date: November 20, 2008
Speaker: Professor Andy Weiner
Speaker Affiliation: Purdue University
Sponsor: Department of Physics General Colloquium
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: PHYS 203
Open To: Acceptable for ECE694A

Femtosecond optical pulse shaping is by now an established technology allowing generation of essentially arbitrary ultrafast optical waveforms according to user specification. Briefly, waveform generation is accomplished via a Fourier synthesis method, in which different optical frequency components contained in an ultrashort pulse are spatially separated, manipulated using a spatial light modulator (SLM), then recombined. This results in a new waveform whose shape is determined by the Fourier transform of the phase, amplitude, and polarization information placed onto the spectrum via the SLM. Applications span lightwave communications, coherent control of quantum mechanical processes, few femtosecond pulse compression, nonlinear optical microscopy, and microwave photonics. In this talk I will first discuss the basics of pulse shaping and then survey recent topics of interest within my group at Purdue University. Such topics include: compensation of short pulse distortion effects in optical fibers, generation of ultrawide instantaneous-bandwidth radio-frequency waveforms for time-domain electromagnetics, and high spectral resolution pulse shaping systems capable of resolving individual frequencies from mode-locked laser frequency combs.