Every gas molecule has a unique absorption spectrum that can be captured using optical spectroscopy to identify an unknown sample's composition. Frequency combs systems can provide an extremely broad mid-infrared spectrum that is very useful for molecular detection. A degenerate optical parametric oscillator (OPO) was built to generate the down-converted and shifted frequency comb spectrum. This system utilizes an ultra-short pulse 1.56µm pump laser and a never before used orientation patterned gallium-phosphide crystal. Periodically polled lithium niobate (PPLN), Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Gallium Phosphide are all crystals used to accomplish this task. GaP, in comparison to PPLN, has (i) a larger nonlinear coefficient, (ii) much deeper infrared transparency, and (iii) smaller group dispersion – to allow for achieving broad spectral coverage. GaP also has a larger band gap than GaAs; therefore it can still be pumped with a standard telecom C-band laser. An octave-wide spanning frequency comb system was achieved and the characterization of the system is presented. This system is specifically designed to be compact and portable for initial experimental testing in the applications of medical breath analysis and combustion gas investigation.
Vodopyanov, Konstantin L.
Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering (B.S.P.S.E.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Orlando (Main) Campus
Crystal, Sean O., "Development of a Compact Broadband Optical Parametric Oscillator for Ultra-Sensitive Molecular Detection" (2017). Honors in the Major Theses. 274.