Abstract

The picosecond time scale pedestal of a multiterawatt femtosecond laser pulse is investigated experimentally and analytically. The origin of the pedestal is related to the finite bandwidth of the laser system. By deliberately introducing a modulated spectrum with minima that match this limited bandwidth, the pedestal can be reduced, with no deleterious effect on the main pulse. Using this technique, we experimentally demonstrate a subpicosecond scale order of magnitude enhancement of contrast ratio while preserving the energy in the main pulse.

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