Abstract

In this paper, the average power scalability of components that can be used for intense few-cycle lasers based on nonlinear compression of modern femtosecond solid-state lasers is investigated. The key components of such a setup, namely, the gas-filled waveguides, laser windows, chirped mirrors for pulse compression and low dispersion mirrors for beam collimation, focusing, and beam steering are tested under high-average-power operation using a kilowatt cw laser. We demonstrate the long-term stable transmission of kW-level average power through a hollow capillary and a Kagome-type photonic crystal fiber. In addition, we show that sapphire substrates significantly improve the average power capability of metal-coated mirrors. Ultimately, ultrabroadband dielectric mirrors show negligible heating up to 1 kW of average power. In summary, a technology for scaling of few-cycle lasers up to 1 kW of average power and beyond is presented.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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