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2018 SPIE PRISM Award Finalist!


Y-Fi™ OPA is KMLabs’ vertically integrated, collinear optical parametric amplifier pumped by a Y-Fi HP. The class leading pulse duration of the 1035 nm centered Y-Fi HP results in both a stable, coherent white light seed source and an exceptionally high conversion efficiency into the short-wave (1250-1800 nm) and mid-wave (2.4 – 4.4 μm) infrared.


High repetition rate UV from high harmonic generation: in a collaboration between NIST, JILA-University of Colorado, and KMLabs, Dan Hickstein et al. demonstrated high-harmonic generation up to the 13th harmonic of the output using a chirped, periodically poled lithium niobate (PPLN) waveguide, with conversion efficiency up to 10%.  This work resulted in a 315 nm source at 1 MHz repetition rate, showing promise as a source for probing the electronic structure of solid-state materials.

Additionally, Y-Fi OPA offers the best combination of laser properties for optimal depth and signal, critical to advancing research capabilities by imaging  the most delicate of tissues, e.g., for neuroscience. More pulse energy allows for deeper penetration, while higher signal-to-noise ratio and higher repetition rates enable improved imaging with minimal phototoxicity.


  • Multiphoton microscopy
  • Short-wave infrared (SWIR) supercontinuum generation
  • Mid-wave infrared (MIR) supercontinuum generation
  • Three- and four-photon excitation fluorescence microscopy
  • Spectroscopy
  • Pump probe experiments
  • Tip-enhanced mid-wave infrared nanoscopy and nanospectroscopy
  • Retina safe coherent Raman scattering (stimulated Raman scattering, coherent ant-Stokes Raman scattering, Impulsive stimulated Raman scattering, etc.)


  • Supports < 50 fs pulses at the peak of the tuning curve
  • Market leading footprint:  40.6 x 30.3 x 11.6 cm (16 x 12 x 5.5″)
  • Tunable repetition range 1-4 MHz
  • > 15% conversion efficiency with up to >400 mW in the signal and >100 mW in the idler
  • <1.5% shot-to-shot pulse energy deviation in signal
  • Excellent beam quality: M2 typically <1.4
  • Intuitive control GUI including wavelength and pulse optimization
  • Combination of clean (low pedestal) short pulses and high energy gives higher peak intensities for nonlinear processes

KMLabs outlines its unique, intelligent approach to high performance ultrafast fiber lasers in Optics Express paper

One problem that has always been an issue with ultrafast fiber laser technology is that optical fiber properties change over time, changing the properties of the output, and at-times causing failure to pulse. In-general, this has been addressed in designs by limiting the performance of the laser, for example by including SESAM saturable absorbers that are susceptible to damage and degradation over time, and which limit the obtainable pulse duration.

In a recent publication in Optics Express,[1] KMLabs scientists outline their novel, intelligent patent pending approach toward obtaining consistent high performance from their Y-Fi ultrafast fiber laser. By using liquid crystal polarizer elements to control the laser, all parameters can be controlled by computer. By using intelligent optimization, the laser can operate with consistent, no-compromise performance without any SESAM saturable absorbers. This consistent performance also allows for optimization of the fiber laser amplifiers, allowing KMLabs’ Y-Fi to consistently outperform the competition, enabling new applications of fiber lasers such as the tunable infrared Y-Fi OPA.

1. DG Winters, MS Kirchner, SJ Backus, and HC Kapteyn, “Electronic initiation and optimization of nonlinear polarization evolution mode-locking in a fiber laser,” Optics Express 25(26), 33216-33225 (2017)

Y-Fi OPA Prism Award

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