Single-shot optical sampling oscilloscope for ultrafast optical waveforms

Deng, K.-L. and Runser, R.J. and Glesk, Ivan and Prucnal, Paul R. (1998) Single-shot optical sampling oscilloscope for ultrafast optical waveforms. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 10 (3). pp. 397-399. ISSN 1041-1135

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We present an all-optical technique for measuring single-shot optical pulse phenomena using a feed-forward pulse replicator and a compact, nonlinear loop mirror called the terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer (TOAD). By exploiting the fast nonlinearity of a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) placed asymmetrically within the loop, a sampling window on the order of a few picoseconds can be used to detect features in low-energy (<pJ) optical waveforms. We successfully demonstrate a sampling system with 10-ps resolution capable of sampling single-shot optical waveforms up to 160 ps in duration. The sampled real-time pulsewidth agrees well with standard, long-range space autocorrelation.