Browsing by Author "Mero, Mark"
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- Item43 W, 1.55 μm and 12.5 W, 3.1 μm dual-beam, sub-10 cycle, 100 kHz optical parametric chirped pulse amplifier(Washington, DC : Soc., 2018) Mero, Mark; Heiner, Zsuzsanna; Petrov, Valentin; Rottke, Horst; Branchi, Federico; Thomas, Gabrielle M.; Vrakking, Marc J. J.We present a 100 kHz optical parametric chirped pulse amplifier (OPCPA) developed for strong-field attosecond physics and soft-x-ray transient absorption experiments. The system relies on noncollinear potassium titanyl arsenate booster OPCPAs and is pumped by a 244 W, 1.1 ps Yb:YAG Innoslab chirped pulse laser amplifier. Two optically synchronized infrared output beams are simultaneously available: a 430 μJ, 51 fs, carrier-envelope phase stable beam at 1.55 μm and an angular-dispersion-compensated, 125 μJ, 73 fs beam at 3.1 μm.
- ItemCompact, high-repetition-rate source for broadband sum-frequency generation spectroscopy(Melville, NY : AIP Publishing, 2017) Heiner, Zsuzsanna; Petrov, Valentin; Mero, MarkWe present a high-efficiency optical parametric source for broadband vibrational sum-frequency generation (BB-VSFG) for the chemically important mid-infrared spectral range at 2800-3600 cm-1 to study hydrogen bonding interactions affecting the structural organization of biomolecules at water interfaces. The source consists of a supercontinuum-seeded, dual-beam optical parametric amplifier with two broadband infrared output beams and a chirped sum-frequency mixing stage providing narrowband visible pulses with adjustable bandwidth. Utilizing a pulse energy of only 60 μJ from a turn-key, 1.03-μm pump laser operating at a repetition rate of 100 kHz, the source delivers 6-cycle infrared pulses at 1.5 and 3.2 μm with pulse energies of 4.6 and 1.8 μJ, respectively, and narrowband pulses at 0.515 μm with a pulse energy of 5.0 μJ. The 3.2-μm pulses are passively carrier envelope phase stabilized with fluctuations at the 180-mrad level over a 10-s time period. The 1.5-μm beamline can be exploited to deliver pump pulses for time-resolved studies after suitable frequency up-conversion. The high efficiency, stability, and two orders of magnitude higher repetition rate of the source compared to typically employed systems offer great potential for providing a boost in sensitivity in BB-VSFG experiments at a reduced cost.
- ItemThe interaction of chondroitin sulfate with a lipid monolayer observed by using nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy(Cambridge : RSC Publ., 2021) Szekeres, Gergo Peter; Krekic, Szilvia; Miller, Rebecca L.; Mero, Mark; Pagel, Kevin; Heiner, ZsuzsannaThe first vibrational sum-frequency generation (VSFG) spectra of chondroitin sulfate (CS) interacting with dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine (DPPC) at air–liquid interface are reported here, collected at a laser repetition rate of 100 kHz. By studying the VSFG spectra in the regions of 1050–1450 cm−1, 2750–3180 cm−1, and 3200–3825 cm−1, it was concluded that in the presence of Ca2+ ions, the head groups together with the head-group-bound water molecules in the DPPC monolayer are strongly influenced by the interaction with CS, while the organization of the phospholipid tails remains mostly unchanged. The interactions were observed at a CS concentration below 200 nM, which exemplifies the potential of VSFG in studying biomolecular interactions at low physiological concentrations. The VSFG spectra recorded in the O–H stretching region at chiral polarization combination imply that CS molecules are organized into ordered macromolecular superstructures with a chiral secondary structure.
- ItemNonlinear Optical Investigation of Microbial Chromoproteins(Lausanne : Frontiers Media, 2020) Krekic, Szilvia; Zakar, Tomás; Gombos, Zoltán; Valkai, Sándor; Mero, Mark; Zimányi, László; Heiner, Zsuzsanna; Dér, AndrásMembrane-bound or cytosolic light-sensitive proteins, playing a crucial role in energy- and signal-transduction processes of various photosynthetic microorganisms, have been optimized for sensing or harvesting light by myriads of years of evolution. Upon absorption of a photon, they undergo a usually cyclic reaction series of conformations, and the accompanying spectro-kinetic events assign robust nonlinear optical (NLO) properties for these chromoproteins. During recent years, they have attracted a considerable interest among researchers of the applied optics community as well, where finding the appropriate NLO material for a particular application is a pivotal task. Potential applications have emerged in various branches of photonics, including optical information storage and processing, higher-harmonic and white-light continuum generation, or biosensorics. In our earlier work, we also raised the possibility of using chromoproteins, such as bacteriorhodopsin (bR), as building blocks for the active elements of integrated optical (IO) circuits, where several organic and inorganic photonic materials have been considered as active components, but so far none of them has been deemed ideal for the purpose. In the current study, we investigate the linear and NLO properties of biofilms made of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) and bR. The kinetics of the photoreactions are monitored by time-resolved absorption experiments, while the refractive index of the films and its light-induced changes are measured using the Optical Waveguide Lightmode Spectroscopy (OWLS) and Z-scan techniques, respectively. The nonlinear refractive index and the refractive index change of both protein films were determined in the green spectral range in a wide range of intensities and at various laser repetition rates. The nonlinear refractive index and refractive index change of PYP were compared to those of bR, with respect to photonics applications. Our results imply that the NLO properties of these proteins make them promising candidates for utilization in applied photonics, and they should be considered as valid alternatives for active components of IO circuits. © Copyright © 2020 Krekic, Zakar, Gombos, Valkai, Mero, Zimányi, Heiner and Dér.
- ItemThin-disk laser-pumped OPCPA system delivering 4.4 TW few-cycle pulses(Washington, DC : Soc., 2020) Kretschmar, Martin; Tuemmler, Johannes; Schütte, Bernd; Hoffmann, Andreas; Senfftleben, Björn; Mero, Mark; Sauppe, Mario; Rupp, Daniela; Vrakking, Marc J.J.; Will, Ingo; Nagy, TamasWe present an optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) system delivering 4.4 TW pulses centered at 810 nm with a sub-9 fs duration and a carrier-envelope phase stability of 350 mrad. The OPCPA setup pumped by sub-10 ps pulses from two Yb:YAG thin-disk lasers at 100 Hz repetition rate is optimized for a high conversion-efficiency. The terawatt pulses of the OPCPA are utilized for generating intense extreme ultraviolet (XUV) pulses by high-order harmonic generation, achieving XUV pulse energies approaching the microjoule level. © 2020 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement
- ItemVibrational sum-frequency generation spectroscopy of lipid bilayers at repetition rates up to 100 kHz(Melville, NY : American Institute of Physics, 2018) Yesudas, Freeda; Mero, Mark; Kneipp, Janina; Heiner, ZsuzsannaBroadband vibrational sum-frequency generation (BB-VSFG) spectroscopy has become a well-established surface analytical tool capable of identifying the orientation and structure of molecular layers. A straightforward way to boost the sensitivity of the technique could be to increase the laser repetition rate beyond that of standard BB-VSFG spectrometers, which rely on Ti:sapphire lasers operating at repetition rates of 1-5 kHz. Nevertheless, possible thermally induced artifacts in the vibrational spectra due to higher laser average powers are unexplored. Here, we discuss laser power induced temperature accumulation effects that distort the BB-VSFG spectra of 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine at an interface between two transparent phases at repetition rates of 5, 10, 50, and 100 kHz at constant pulse energy. No heat-induced distortions were found in the spectra, suggesting that the increase in the laser repetition rate provides a feasible route to an improved signal-to-noise ratio or shorter data acquisition times in BB-VSFG spectroscopy for thin films on transparent substrates. The results have implications for future BB-VSFG spectrometers pushing the detection limit for molecular layers with low surface coverage.