Abstract

Recompressed pulses from Ti:sapphire chirped-pulse lasers are accompanied by a slowly decaying post-pulse pedestal that is coherent with the main pulse. The pedestal typically consists of numerous pulses with temporal separation in the picosecond range. The source of this artifact lies in the Ti:sapphire active medium itself, both in the Kerr-lens mode-locked oscillator and in subsequent amplifiers. In the presence of substantial self-phase modulation, after recompression the post-pedestal generates a mirror-symmetric pre-pulse pedestal. This pedestal severely degrades the leading edge of the output pulse. This degradation is far more limiting than the original post-pedestal and severely lowers the achievable temporal contrast.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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