Raman conversion with a single Ba(NO3)2 crystal (barium nitrate) either in single- and double-pass travelling-wave setups has been investigated. A Master-Oscillator-Power-Amplifier (MOPA) system, based on a passively Q-switched (PQS) laser generating 500-ps pulses and delivering a total energy of 350 μJ at 1 kHz, was used as pump source for the Raman generator. The two-passes setup yielded 116-μJ, 150-ps Fourier- and diffraction-limited pulses at 1198 nm for ≈ 3× the Raman threshold with no additional Stokes lines, and conversion efficiency of 35%. Such results are interesting not only for direct applications of the wavelength-shifted laser source, but also for further pulse-compression and supercontinuum generation in fibers. Indeed, self-phase modulation up to 0.82 nm has been demonstrated (pulse compression down to 5 ps) as well as 120-nm supercontinuum.
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