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Parametric Nonlinearities

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Definition: instantaneous optical nonlinearities based on the χ(2) or χ(3) nonlinear tensor of a transparent medium

German: parametrische Nichtlinearitäten

Category: physical foundations

How to cite the article; suggest additional literature

Parametric nonlinearities are optical nonlinearities with an instantaneous response based on the χ(2) or χ(3) nonlinearity of a medium. They give rise to effects such as frequency doubling, sum and difference frequency generation, parametric amplification and oscillation, and four-wave mixing.

Usually, phase matching is a condition for achieving a high efficiency in such processes. This occurs only in a limited bandwidth. However, by manipulation of the parameters which influence the phase matching, it is possible to shift the wavelength range where the nonlinear interaction is strong.

Parametric processes are usually polarization-dependent: the nonlinearity itself is polarization-dependent, and at least in cases with a χ(2) nonlinearity also the phase matching, because such media exhibit birefringence.


[1]G. D. Boyd and D. A. Kleinman, “Parametric interaction of focused Gaussian light beams”, J. Appl. Phys. 39 (8), 3597 (1968)
[2]S. Radic, “Parametric amplification and processing in optical fibers”, Laser & Photon. Rev. 2 (6), 498 (2008)

(Suggest additional literature!)

See also: nonlinearities, nonlinear polarization, nonlinear crystal materials, phase matching, group velocity mismatch
and other articles in the category physical foundations

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