Abstract

We demonstrate shaping of high-energy broadband Yb amplifier pulses for the generation of a (sub)picosecond top-hat temporal pulse profile that significantly improves pumping efficiency of an optical parametric amplifier (OPA). Phase-only modulation is applied by an acousto-optic programmable dispersion filter. This simple scheme is scalable to a high average power due to a relatively broad bandwidth of the Yb:CaF2 gain medium used in the amplifier that supports a sub-150-fs transform-limited pulse duration. Additionally we show that OPA seeding with supercontinuum remains possible because top-hat-shaped pulses passed through a glass block recompress to 200fs with minimum satellite production.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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