Abstract

We have constructed a 26-fs chirped-pulse amplifier that incorporates a programmable liquid-crystal spatial light modulator in the pulse stretcher. The modulator serves a dual purpose. First, we apply frequency-dependent phase shifts to compensate for cubic, quartic, and nonlinear phase dispersion in the amplifier, which results in a reduction in pulse duration from 32 to 26 fs, in agreement with the transform limit of the amplified pulse spectrum. Second, we are able to produce high-fidelity compressed amplified shaped pulses by applying phase masks directly within the stretcher. Shaped pulse energies of greater than 1 mJ are routinely obtained.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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