High-performance phase plates are of vital concern for controlling the far-field irradiance of laser-fusion systems. Several designs for solving this difficult problem have been reported in Optics Letters [e. g., S. N. Dixit et al., Opt. Lett. 19, 417 (1994)]. We report a surface-based form of simulated annealing that significantly improves the irradiance control while eliminating the high-scatter problems that have plagued other methods.
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