We report on significant improvements in the pulse-retrieval algorithm used to reconstruct the amplitude and the phase of ultrashort optical pulses from the experimental frequency-resolved optical gating trace data in the polarization-gate geometry. These improvements involve the use of an intensity constraint, an overcorrection technique, and a multidimensional minimization scheme. While the previously published, basic algorithm converged for most common ultrashort pulses, it failed to retrieve pulses with significant intensity substructure. The improved composite algorithm successfully converges for such pulses. It can now retrieve essentially all pulses of practical interest. We present examples of complex waveforms that were retrieved by the improved algorithm.
© 1994 Optical Society of America
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