The ultrashort, ultra-high-intensity SCARLET laser system at Ohio State is capable of delivering greater than 10 J of energy in 30 fs to a 5 μm spot on target. Understanding the laser-matter interaction requires control of the impinging light. Distortions in the wavefront smear the laser focus and lower on-target intensities, making wavefront information near focus a valuable asset in high energy density physics experiments. However, measuring the wavefront inside the target chamber on each full-power laser shot is not feasible due to experimental conditions. While a sensor outside the target chamber can yield information on every shot, the measured wavefront differs from that where the beam interacts with target material. Presented here is work to develop and implement a method to correct for this discrepancy by establishing a phase relationship between the measured wavefront and the wavefront near target1. Measurements taken on a diagnostic table are combined with a calibrated transfer function to calculate the unmeasured wavefront near focus. The calculated wavefront is used to predict the on-target focal spot. Results in development of this wavefront transfer technique at Ohio State are shown.
© 2012 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article