Direct comparison of shot-to-shot noise performance of all normal dispersion and anomalous dispersion supercontinuum pumped with sub-picosecond pulse fiber-based laser

Klimczak M.; Sobon G.; Kasztelanic R.; Abramski K.M; Buczynski R.

Scientific Reports

6, 2016, art. 19284, 10.1038/srep19284

Coherence of supercontinuum sources is critical for applications involving characterization of ultrafast or rarely occurring phenomena. With the demonstrated spectral coverage of supercontinuum extending from near-infrared to over 10 μm in a single nonlinear fiber, there has been a clear push for the bandwidth rather than for attempting to optimize the dynamic properties of the generated spectrum. In this work we provide an experimental assessment of the shot-to-shot noise performance of supercontinuum generation in two types of soft glass photonic crystal fibers. Phase coherence and intensity fluctuations are compared for the cases of an anomalous dispersion-pumped fiber and an all-normal dispersion fiber. With the use of the dispersive Fourier transformation method, we demonstrate that a factor of 100 improvement in signal-to-noise ratio is achieved in the normal-dispersion over anomalous dispersion-pumped fiber for 390 fs long pump pulses. A double-clad design of the photonic lattice of the fiber is further postulated to enable a pump-related seeding mechanism of normal-dispersion supercontinuum broadening under sub-picosecond pumping, which is otherwise known for similar noise characteristics as modulation instability driven, soliton-based spectra.