Dominance of backward stimulated Raman scattering in gas-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fibers


Backward stimulated Raman scattering in gases provides a promising route to the compression and amplification of a Stokes seed pulse by counter-propagating against a pump pulse, as has been demonstrated already in various platforms, mainly in free space. However, the dynamics governing this process when seeded by noise has not yet been investigated in a fully controllable collinear environment. Here we report, to the best of our knowledge, the first unambiguous observation of efficient noise-seeded backward stimulated Raman scattering in a hydrogen-filled hollow-core photonic crystal fiber. At high gas pressures, when the backward Raman gain in comparable to, but lower than, the forward gain, we report quantum conversion efficiencies exceeding 40% to the backward Stokes at 683 nm from a narrowband 532 nm pump. Efficiency increases to 65% when the backward process is seeded by a small amount of back-reflected forward-generated Stokes light. At high pump powers, the backward Stokes signal, emitted in a clean fundamental mode and spectrally pure, is unexpectedly always stronger than its forward-propagating counterpart. We attribute this striking observation to the unique temporal dynamics of the interacting fields, which cause the Raman coherence (which takes the form of a moving fine-period Bragg grating) to grow in strength toward the input end of the fiber. A good understanding of this process, together with the rapid development of novel anti-resonant-guiding hollow-core fibers, may lead to improved designs of efficient gas-based Raman lasers and amplifiers operating at wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared

Optica 5, 570 (2018)
David Novoa
David Novoa
Ikerbasque Research Fellow & Visiting Professor