Observation of laser pulse propagation in optical fibers

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Just wanted to share this, mainly because I really liked the videos (found in the supplementary section at the end). Moderators, feel free to move it to a more appropriate place.

Observation of laser pulse propagation in optical fibers with a SPAD camera

Recording processes and events that occur on sub-nanosecond timescales poses a difficult challenge. Conventional ultrafast imaging techniques often rely on long data collection times, which can be due to limited device sensitivity and/or the requirement of scanning the detection system to form an image. In this work, we use a single-photon avalanche detector array camera with pico-second timing accuracy to detect photons scattered by the cladding in optical fibers. We use this method to film supercontinuum generation and track a GHz pulse train in optical fibers. We also show how the limited spatial resolution of the array can be improved with computational imaging. The single-photon sensitivity of the camera and the absence of scanning the detection system results in short total acquisition times, as low as a few seconds depending on light levels. Our results allow us to calculate the group index of different wavelength bands within the supercontinuum generation process. This technology can be applied to a range of applications, e.g., the characterization of ultrafast processes, time-resolved fluorescence imaging, three-dimensional depth imaging, and tracking hidden objects around a corner.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep43302 (open access)
 

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