Nonlinear polarization rotation of elliptical light in cubic crystals, with application to cross-polarized wave generation

Abstract : We have investigated theoretically and experimentally the nonlinear propagation of intense elliptically polarized light pulses along a fourfold axis of the cubic crystal BaF2. Third-order nonlinear optical processes generate a cross-polarized wave, an effect that presents significant possibilities for application in femtosecond pulse contrast enhancement. The experimental setup consists of an input linear polarized light that passes through a cubic crystal sandwiched between two crossed quarter-wave plates. The exit orthogonal polarization-state production amount is measured at the output of an analyzer. When the light impinging on the sample is elliptically polarized with a quarter-wave plate at 22.5 deg, the achieved efficiency reaches 15%. It is more than twice that of a conventional polarization filter based on nonlinear ellipse rotation in an isotropic medium. This device is compared with previously reported polarization filtering [J. Opt. Soc. Am. B21, 1659 (2004)], in which a linearly polarized light produced a perpendicular field component. The theoretical model describes in detail the obtained dependencies and allows the different nonlinear processes that contribute to the generation of a cross-polarized wave to be distinguished. Possible applications are discussed.
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Submitted on : Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 2:28:21 PM
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Aurélie Jullien, Olivier Albert, Gilles Cheriaux, Jean Etchepare, Stoyan Kourtev, et al.. Nonlinear polarization rotation of elliptical light in cubic crystals, with application to cross-polarized wave generation. Journal of the Optical Society of America B, Optical Society of America, 2005, 22 (12), pp.2635-2641. ⟨10.1364/JOSAB.22.002635⟩. ⟨hal-00526382⟩

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