Abstract

We consider in detail the technique of tomographic ultrafast retrieval of transverse light E fields (TURTLE) for measuring the evolution of an arbitrary, potentially complex, and ultrashort laser pulse’s intensity-and-phase and polarization-state evolutions in time. TURTLE involves making three ultrashort-pulse measurements using established single-polarization pulse-measurement techniques. Two of the measurements are of the pulse’s orthogonal linear polarizations (e.g., horizontal and vertical) and the third occurs for an arbitrary additional polarization angle (e.g., 45°). If the field projections are measured using second-harmonic-generation frequency-resolved optical gating, we demonstrate that a simple optimization can accurately and reliably retrieve the time-dependent polarization state, even for very complex polarization-shaped pulses.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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