Abstract

Focusing of ultrashort light pulses with single lenses is analyzed by taking into account the unavoidable interplay between chromatic and spherical aberration simultaneously for the first time to our knowledge. The spatial intensity distribution is mainly affected by spherical aberration, whereas the temporal distribution is determined by both aberrations. The impact on second-harmonic generation for femtosecond pulse measurements is discussed. For example, the presence of spherical aberration allows one to record the correct autocorrelation of a 10-fs pulse even if chromatic aberration alone would cause a half-width of the autocorrelation function of 40 fs.

© 1993 Optical Society of America

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