Researchers at Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) have discovered a cost-effective way to tune the spectrum of a laser to the infrared, a band of great interest for many laser applications.
They collaborated with Austrian and Russian research teams to develop this innovation, which is now the subject of a patent application. The results of their work were recently published in Optica, the flagship journal of the Optical Society (OSA). In this field of study, many laser applications have a decisive advantage if the laser wavelength is located and possibly tunable in the infrared region. However, this is still hardly the case with current ultrafast laser technologies, and scientists need to explore various nonlinear processes to shift the emission wavelength. In particular, the Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA) has so far been the only well-established tool to reach this infrared window. Although OPA systems offer a broad range of tunability, they are complex, often made of multiples stages, and quite expensive.