Abstract

Optical parametric amplification can give particularly high values for gain, gain bandwidth, energy, efficiency, and wave-front quality. In combination with chirped pulse amplification, in a technique we call optical parametric chirped pulse amplification, it offers the prospect of generating peak powers up to 100 PW and intensities greater than 1024 W/cm2 with existing technology. Here we study the technique in detail using both analytical and computational techniques, and the limit of validity of the analytical approach is identified. The effects of spectral phase, energy extraction, signal pulse chirp, and pump pulse nonuniformity are analyzed, and optimization techniques are proposed and discussed.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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