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This article relates to high-speed auto-correlation techniques and more particularly to a picosecond optical auto-correlation technique using a superconducting switch.
English (United States)
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Picosecond Optical Auto Correlation Technique Using a Superconducting
This article relates to high-speed auto-correlation techniques and more
particularly to a picosecond optical auto-correlation technique using a
The voltage output of a constant-current biased superconducting switch is
highly nonlinear as the power of the illuminating light pulses from a laser is
increased. Fig. 1 shows a superconducting thin film 1 with two superconducting
pads 2 to which a source 3 of constant current, Io, is connected. Thin film 1 is
illuminated by a laser which provides illumination P of sufficient power to drive
film 1 to a normal or non-superconducting state. Fig. 2 shows the voltage output
(Vout) vs. the incident power (P) characteristic of thin film 1. As can be seen, the
characteristic is an ideal step function.
The present approach uses the nonlinear property of a superconducting
switch to replace the conventional nonlinear crystal detector in picosecond
optical auto-correlation measurements in the following way: (i) A conventional
optical auto-correlation apparatus is used to split a laser pulse into two beams,
with one beam having an adjustable delay with respect to the other beam. (ii)
The two beams are chopped at two different but commensurate frequencies,
e.g., 2f(1) = 3f(2). (iii) Standard lock-in detection is used to monitor the voltage
output of a single superconducting switch with a constant current bias, as shown
in Fig. 1. The bias is maintained below a certain threshold c...