**Rob successfully defended his dissertation on December 7, 2009.**

__TITLE:__

Theoretical and Experimental Study of the Nonlinear Optical and Dispersive Properties of Conventional and Photonic Crystal Fibers

__ABSTRACT:__

The early use of the induced grating autocorrelation (IGA) method to measure the nonlinear refractive index of single mode fibers utilized 50-70 ps pulses at 1064-nm and required only 15-20 m lengths of fiber. Exotic fibers, such as photonic crystal fibers (PCFs), are extremely expensive and limit many applications to a few meters. Therefore, a practical measurement of the nonlinear coefficient for such exotic fibers requires a technique sensitive to shorter fiber lengths (< 5 m). To reduce the fiber length requirements, the IGA technique must use shorter pulses.

In this work, a new mathematical description was developed for the IGA technique that is applicable to pulses as short as 100 fs. This model includes effects such as dispersion, self-phase modulation, stimulated Raman scattering, intra-pulse Raman scattering and self-steepening. The model was used to investigate pulse propagation at three pulsewidths: 50 ps, 2 ps, and 120 fs. The model predicted the sensitivity of IGA measurements to dispersive and nonlinear effects at these pulsewidths.

The numerical model led to the successful experimental determination of both the dispersion and nonlinear coefficients of a 15m long single-mode fiber using a 2 ps Ti: sapphire laser at 800 nm. The nonlinear coefficient for several PCFs (a 35 cm long highly nonlinear PCF and two large mode area PCFs of 4.5 m and 4.9 m long) were also successfully measured with excellent numerical fits using this new IGA model.