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Supercontinuum Generation Kit


  • Spectrally Broaden Femtosecond Pulses Centered Around 800 nm
  • Broadband Output Spectrum from Visible to NIR
  • Version for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS) Available

Dispersed Supercontinuum Output

SCKB

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Related Items

Applications
  • Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Coherence Tomography
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Optical Device Characterization
  • Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering
    (-CARS Version)
SCKB Beam Path Diagram
Click to Enlarge

Schematic of Supercontinuum Generation Kit

Thorlabs' Supercontinuum Generation Kits use femtoWHITE highly nonlinear fibers from NKT Photonics to spectrally broaden femtosecond pulses near 800 nm. We offer two versions of these kits. The first version, item number SCKB(/M), produces an output beam that combines the high power and spatial coherence of a laser with the broad visible-to-NIR spectrum of an incandescent source. The second version, item number SCKB-CARS(/M), is optimized for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) and provides a stable beam with peaks at two separate center wavelengths: one in the visible and the other in the NIR.

The supercontinuum generation kits consist of preselected, proven parts that allow the user to quickly build a setup and create a supercontinuum spectrum. Due to this modular nature, the supercontinuum kits may be easily customized to a particular application by replacing components. For an example, please see the Kit Customization tab above. The kits are shipped unassembled; however, pre-assembly is available for an additional fee. For details, please contact us at applications@thorlabs.com.

SCKB(/M): Broad Supercontinuum, Tuned by Input Laser Parameters
When pumped with Thorlabs' OCTAVIUS-85M or Menlo Systems' C-Fiber and M-Fiber femtosecond Ti:Sapphire lasers, the SCKB(/M) produces smooth, stable output and even intensity from at least 500 - 1200 nm, as shown in the plots on the Graphs tab. If a tunable Ti:Sapphire laser is used (also shown in the Graphs tab), the shape and intensity of the spectral output can be tweaked as a function of the peak power, pulse width, and center wavelength of the pump. This enables the production of qualitatively different spectra. For advice on the choice of pump laser, we invite you to contact us at applications@thorlabs.com.

Depending on the relative distance from the zero-dispersion wavelength of the fiber, a variety of nonlinear effects are responsible for the creation of the spectrum. These effects include self-phase modulation, Raman scattering, soliton fission, and four-wave mixing. Please refer to J.M. Dudley, G. Genty, S. Coen. "Supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fiber" Rev. Mod. Phys. 78, 1135 (2006) for a review of these effects in photonic crystal fibers.

SCKB-CARS(/M): Optimized for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)
The SCKB-CARS(/M) contains a fiber with two zero-dispersion wavelengths for generation of an output with two distinct peaks, suitable for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering applications. When pumped at a wavelength between the two zero-dispersion wavelengths, more than 99% of the light is converted into two spectral peaks.

The peak wavelengths result from the choice of the two zero-dispersion wavelengths, which are determined solely by the design of the nonlinear PCF fiber. Due to this, the output wavelength is insensitive to changes in the center wavelength of the pump, pulse energy, pulse width, and spectral bandwidth. However, the relative intensity of the two peaks can be adjusted by varying the pump wavelength.

For more information, please see K. M. Hilligsøe, T. V. Andersen, H. N. Paulsen, C. K. Nielsen, K. Mølmer, S. Keiding, R. E. Kristiansen, K. P. Hansen, and J. J. Larsen, "Supercontinuum generation a photonic crystal fiber with two zero dispersion wavelengths" Opt. Express 12, 1045 (2004).

Supercontinuum Generation with Tunable Lasers

The spectral output of the Supercontinuum Generation Kit (item number SCKB) can be tuned by changing the wavelength of the input light. The zero-dispersion wavelength (ZDW) of the kit's fiber module is 750 nm, which allows Ti:Sapphire lasers to pump above and below the ZDW, accessing qualitatively different spectra.

The following spectra were taken using our Supercontinuum Generation Kit with a Coherent Chameleon Ultra II laser as the pump source. The results were collected by dispersing the light with a prism and then translating a slit and calibrated detector across the dispersed beam to measure the intensity across the spectrum. The data shows how the supercontinuum spectrum varies with input wavelength.

We thank Rupert Oulton and his group at Imperial College London for providing us with these results.

Plot Key

Input Laser WavelengthLine Colora
700 nm700 nm
750 nm750 nm
800 nm800 nm
850 nm850 nm
900 nm900 nm
  • Click on the line for an individual spectrum plot.

Supercontinuum Spectra

 

Supercontinuum Generation with Fixed-Wavelength Lasers

The graphs below show results obtained by pumping the Supercontinuum Generation Kit (item number SCKB) with the C-Fiber A 780 and M-Fiber A 780 lasers from Menlo Systems. Generally speaking, the output spectrum depends upon the peak power, pulse width, and the center wavelength of the pump. The laser parameters used are given in the tables below each plot.

SCKB with 100 MHz Repetition Rate
Click to Enlarge

Menlo Systems Laser Item #C-Fiber A 780
Center Wavelength780 nm
Repetition Rate100 MHz
Pulse Length60 fsa
Power After Polarizer140 mWa
Power After Fiber Cell65 mWa
  • Measured Experimental Values

SCKB with 250 MHz Repetition Rate
Click to Enlarge

Menlo Systems Laser Item #M-Fiber A 780
Center Wavelength780 nm
Repetition Rate250 MHz
Pulse Length100 fsa
Power After Polarizer185 mWa
Power After Fiber Cell120 mWa
  • Measured Experimental Values

 

Dual-Wavelength Spectrum for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering (CARS)

The graph below shows results obtained by pumping the CARS version of the Supercontinuum Generation Kit (item number SCKB-CARS) with the C-Fiber A 780 laser from Menlo Systems. The laser parameters used are given in the table on the right.

The peak wavelengths result from the choice of the two zero-dispersion wavelengths, which are determined solely by the design of the nonlinear PCF fiber. Due to this, the output wavelength is insensitive to changes in the center wavelength of the pump, pulse energy, pulse width, and spectral bandwidth. However, the relative intensity of the two peaks can be adjusted by varying the pump wavelength.

Menlo Systems Laser Item #C-Fiber A 780
Center Wavelength780 nm
Repetition Rate100 MHz
Pulse Length60 fsa
Power After Polarizer140 mWa
Power After Fiber Cell60 mWa
  • Measured Experimental Values

 Replacing Objective with Asphere
Click to Enlarge

Fiber Assembly Modified with an Aspheric Lens

Replacing Objective with Asphere
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Fiber Assembly Replaced with Fiber Clamps and Custom Fiber

Kit Customization Example

Because of a modular design that uses items compatible with Thorlabs' stock components, the Supercontinuum Generation Kit may be modified to fit the demands of a particular application. For example, the microscope objectives used in the kit may be easily replaced with appropriate aspheric lenses. This is particularly beneficial if pulse broadening is a concern; the single-element aspheric lenses will broaden the pulses less than the multi-element microscope objectives. With either objectives or aspheric lenses, the fiber coupling efficiencies will be in excess of 60%.

To replace the microscope objectives with aspheres, such as our C610TME-B aspheric lens, you will need Thorlabs' E09RMS RMS to M9 x 0.5 Adapter. Thread the M9 x 0.5-threaded lens housing into the adapter (an SPW301 spanner wrench is useful for this task), and then thread the adapter into the RMS-threaded holder on the 3-axis stage. A detail of the fiber coupling assembly with one objective replaced with an aspheric lens is shown in the photo to the upper right.

An additional example is shown to the lower right. In this case, the kit's standard fiber cell and mounts have been replaced with one of our nonlinear photonic crystal fibers and two of our fiber clamps. The HFF001 fiber clamp and HFF003 fiber clamp are both shown, although in practice, one or the other can be used exclusively.

For more information on these and other customization options, please contact us at applications@thorlabs.com.

 

Octavius-85M
Click to Enlarge

Octavius-85M Femtosecond Laser

Lasers from Thorlabs and Strategic Partners

The supercontinuum generation kits may also be ordered as a package that includes a femtosecond laser. Options include the Octavius femtosecond lasers, manufactured by Thorlabs, and fiber-laser-based solutions from our strategic partner, Menlo Systems. Selected laser specifications are given in the table below; for full details, please see that laser's full web presentation.

For more details or to receive quotes on a complete supercontinuum system, pre-assembly services, or installation services, please contact us at applications@thorlabs.com.

Item #ManufacturerOutput PowerRepetition Rate
OCTAVIUS-85MThorlabs>150 mW85 MHz
OCTAVIUS-85M-HPThorlabs>400 mW85 MHz
C-Fiber A 780Menlo Systems>180 mW (Average)100 MHz
M-Fiber A 780Menlo Systems>150 mW (Average)250 MHz
Click the Support Documentation icon document icon or Part Number below to view the available support documentation
Part Number Product Description
SCKB Support Documentation SCKB : Supercontinuum Generation Kit
SCKB/M Support Documentation SCKB/M : Supercontinuum Generation Kit, Metric
SCKB-CARS Support Documentation SCKB-CARS : Supercontinuum Generation Kit with CARS Fiber Cell
SCKB-CARS/M Support Documentation SCKB-CARS/M : Supercontinuum Generation Kit with CARS Fiber Cell, Metric

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Supercontinuum Generation Kit

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Supercontinuum Generation Kit for Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Scattering

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