Ultrafast Nonlinear Optics
by Justus J. Kornkven
Supervisor: Vinod Kumarappan , Associate Professor of Physics
This work is partially funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) through NSF grant number PHYS-1461251. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or AFOSR.
Project Overview: The goal of my project was to create 5th harmonic light that could be used with the Kansas Light Source (KLS) laser for experiments. Every frequency of light corresponds to a certain wavelength of light according to the equation (when the light is travelling through a vacuum). If we begin with a certain wavelength of light, call it , the 5th harmonic of that light refers to light that is 5 times the original frequency or . This process is called high harmonic generation. High harmonic generation can be achieved through the use of nonlinear crystals, which was discovered in 1961. 5th harmonic generation is a twostep process. The first step is to create third harmonic light by using BBO. The second step is to send 3rd harmonic light into a chamber filled with pure argon to create a plasma filament. At high enough intensity the argon becomes a nonlinear medium and emits 5th harmonic light.
Research Description: During the summer I was able to complete the first part of the project. After several weeks of modifying the setup we were able to get 3rd harmonic light. We ran into some obstacles that set us back, but we were able to resume work on 3rd harmonic generation after four weeks. While waiting for the component to arrive I helped with various tasks around the lab. When the crystal arrived, we were able to optimize the setup and achieve high power conversion efficiency. Although I was not able to complete the 5th harmonic generation, it will be completed by the lab after I have left.
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