Abstract

Multipass cells (MPCs) are used nowadays as nonlinear tools to perform spectral broadening and temporal manipulation of laser pulses while maintaining a good spatial quality and spatio-spectral homogeneity. However, intensive 3D nonlinear spatio-temporal simulations are required to fully capture the physics associated with pulse propagation inside these systems. In addition, the limitations of such a scheme are still under investigation. In this study, we first establish a 1D model as a useful design tool to predict the temporal and spectral properties of the output pulse for nearly Gaussian beams, in a wide range of cavity configurations and nonlinearity levels. This model allows us to drastically reduce the computation time associated with MPC design. The validity of the 1D model is first checked by comparing it to 3D simulations. The results of the 1D model are then compared with experimental data collected from a near-concentric gas-filled multipass cell presenting a high level of nonlinearity, enabling the observation of wave breaking. In a second part, we experimentally characterize the spatio-spectral profile at the output of this experimental setup, both with an imaging spectrometer and with a complete 3D characterization method known as INSIGHT. The results show that gas-filled multipass cells can be used at peak power levels close to the critical power without inducing significant spatio-spectral couplings in intensity or phase.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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