Abstract

4f pulse shapers have been widely used to temporally manipulate femtosecond optical pulses by spectral filtering. When the temporal waveform is manipulated with a spatial light modulator consisting of segmented pixels, the spatial profile of the output beam also varies because of diffraction at the pixel array, which is known as a spatiotemporal coupling effect. This effect produces a complicated spatiotemporal profile near the focus of the ultrashort pulses, which may affect the interpretation of experimental results obtained with shaped ultrashort pulses. We investigate the spatial intensity distribution at the focus of temporally shaped pulses through ablation experiments. The three-dimensional space–time beam profile is also numerically calculated.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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