Abstract

The unexpected features of square-law nonlinearity inherent in the noncollinear three-phonon acousto-optical interaction controlled by elastic waves of finite amplitude in birefringent crystals with linear acoustic attenuation are distinguished and investigated. They lead to breakthrough applications of strongly nonlinear three-phonon interaction to linear optical spectrum analysis with 100% efficiency and qualitatively improved resolution. A principally new physical degree of freedom, unique for this nonlinear phenomenon, is revealed and characterized. The indispensable theoretical developments and proof-of-principle acousto-optical experiments with specially designed wide-aperture tellurium dioxide cells are presented. The obtained experimental results confirm the elaborated approaches, promising potentially the highest possible spectral resolution that one can expect in principle from the acousto-optical technique within optical spectrum analysis.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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