Abstract

In large-aperture, ultrahigh-intensity laser systems, such as Vulcan at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, one of the most important factors that determines the ultimate on-target focused intensity is the wave-front quality of the laser pulse. We report on a wave-front analysis carried out on Vulcan to determine the nature and contribution of the aberrations present in the laser pulse that effectively limited the available on-target intensity. We also report on a significant improvement to the wave-front quality that was achieved by static correction of the main aberration, resulting in an increase of focused intensities by a factor of 4.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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