Abstract

An effective computational technique to estimate lateral spatial effects in laser beams compressed by diffraction grating plates is established. In particular, the equivalence of the Kirchoff–Fresnel integral form to the exponential split-operator Fourier transform representation for a propagating-beam amplitude provides a more general numerical technique. Thus realistic beam profiles may be accurately propagated through the compressor pair, including grating-plate misalignment contributions. Additionally, the use of a stationary-phase approximation to the propagation integral kernel is shown to be a convenient, reliable method to evaluate analytical beam forms. Both the numerical and the approximate approaches generalize previously discussed ray-tracing approaches to optimize compressor design.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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