Designing a Compressor

Especially if you are working in the field of ultrafast optics, you will likely find yourself in a position where you need to design a compressor. Perhaps your mode-locked oscillator does not produce bandwidth limited pulses, or you are using an amplifier that broadens your pulses to a non-optimal limit. Whatever the reasoning, if you find yourself in this position, hopefully you will then find the rest of this article useful.

Table of Contents:

  1. When should I use a compressor?
  2. Factors to Consider
  3. Methods to Consider
  4. Code to Estimate Compressed Pulse

WHEN SHOULD I USE A COMPRESSOR?

Before even embarking on the rest of this paragraph, I just have one question for you: are you in the normal or anomalous dispersive regime? Because if it is the latter, then this article is not for you, as it deals with compression using gratings and/or prisms. As explained elsewhere on this website, compressors in this design provide anomalous dispersion, meaning it will delay the red portion of the spectrum with respect to the blue to counteract the effects of normal dispersion. Therefore, using a gratings or prism compressor will not help if you have anomalous dispersion already.

FACTORS TO CONSIDER

When designing a compressor, it’s important to take note of the different parameters that may be affecting your specific experimental situation. The first, most obvious question to ask is, how much do I need to compress? This will affect the materials you use, as well as inform the other major design aspects of your compressor.

METHODS TO CONSIDER

CODE TO ESTIMATE COMPRESSED PULSE

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