Abstract

We have built a prepulse-free, multi-terawatt, ultrashort pulse laser system, which combines both conventional laser amplification and optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) techniques. By employing an OPCPA system after the regenerative amplifier in a Ti:sapphire chirped pulse amplification laser chain, we have dramatically enhanced the prepulse contrast by 6 orders of magnitude. A prepulse contrast of better than 4.4 × 10-11 has been measured with a high energy broadband pulse of 24 mJ at 10 Hz repetition rate from the OPCPA system. Using a subsequent four-pass Ti:sapphire amplifier, we have achieved an amplified energy of 279 mJ and an ultrashort recompressed amplified pulse duration of 23.5 fs, corresponding to the peak powers for OPCPA and four-pass amplifier of 0.5 TW and 5.9 TW, respectively.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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References

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Appl. Opt. (1)

Appl. Phys. B (2)

X. Yang, Z. Xu, Z. Zhang, Y. Leng, J. Peng, J. Wang, S. Jin, W. Zhang, and R. Li, "Dependence of spectrum on pump-signal angle in BBO-I noncollinear optical-parametric chirped-pulse amplification," Appl. Phys. B 73, 219-222 (2001).
[CrossRef]

M. Pittman, S. Ferré, , J. P. Rousseau, L. Notebaert, J. P. Chambaret, and G. Chériaux, "Design and characterization of a near-diffraction-limited femtosecond 100-TW 10-Hz high-intensity laser system," Appl. Phys. B 74, 529-535 (2002).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

R. A. Baumgartner and R. Byer, "Optical parametric amplification," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 15, 432-444 (1979). 8
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. B (1)

Laser and Particle Beams (1)

Y. Fukuda, Y. Akahane, M. Aoyama, N. Inoue, H. Ueda, Y. Kishimoto, K. Yamakawa, A. YA. Faenov, A. I. Magunov, T. A. Pikuz, I. Yu. Skobelev, J. Abdallah, Jr., G. Csanak, A. S. Boldarev, and V. A. Gasilov, "Generation of X rays and energetic ions from superintense laser irradiation of micro-sized Ar clusters," Laser and Particle Beams 22, 215-220 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B (1)

T. Caillaud, F. Blasco, F. Dorchies, Y. Glinec, Ch. Stenz, and J. Stevefelt, "Experimental study of K-shell X-ray emission from argon clusters irradiated by an ultra-intense laser pulse," Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. B 205, 329-333 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Commun. (3)

A. Dubietis, G. Jonusaukas, and Piskarskas, "Powerful femtosecond pulse generation by chirped and stretched pulse parametric amplification in BBO crystal," Opt. Commun. 88, 437-440 (1992).
[CrossRef]

I. N. Ross, P. Matousek, M. Towrie, A. J. Langley, and J. L. Collier, "The prospect for ultrashort pulse duration and ultrahigh intensity using optical parametric chirped pulse amplifiers," Opt. Commun. 144, 125-133 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Itatani, J. Faure, M. Nantel, G. Mourou, and S. Watanabe, "Suppression of the amplified spontaneous emission in chirped-pulse-amplification lasers by clean high-energy seed-pulse injection," Opt. Commun. 148, 70-74 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (7)

Phys. Rev. E (1)

U. Andiel, K. Eidmann, and K. Witte, "Time-resolved x-ray K-shell spectra from high density plasmas generated by ultrashort laser pulses," Phys. Rev. E 63, 026407-1-026407-7 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Rev. Sci. Instrum. (1)

I. Jovanovic, C. Brown, B. Wattellier, N. Nielsen, W. Molander, B. Stuart, D. Pennington, and C. P. J. Barty, "Precision short-pulse damage test station utilizing optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification," Rev. Sci. Instrum. 75, 5193-5202 (2004).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (8)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Schematic diagram of a prepulse-free, multi-terawatt laser system.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Schematic layout of the OPCPA system.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Gain versus pump intensity: (a) first OPCPA stage and (b) second OPCPA stage.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Measured amplified output signal spectra from the OPCPA at pump-signal angles of ±=67.9 mrad for both BBO’s (blue curve), ±=68.4 mrad for both BBO’s (green curve), ±=68.1 mrad for both BBO’s (yellow curve), ±=67.6 mrad for the first BBO and a=68.7 mrad for the second BBO (orange curve).

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Spatial intensity profiles for (a) pump, (b) input, and (c) output signals.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Temporal contrast of the amplified pulse from: (a) RA and (b) REPA.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Output energy from the four-pass Ti:sapphire amplifier as a function of input pump energy.

Fig. 8.
Fig. 8.

Recompressed amplified pulse intensity autocorrelation. Insert, measured amplified spectrum after compression.

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