Compact, high-repetition-rate source for broadband sum-frequency generation spectroscopy
Link to publishers version
We 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.