Abstract

A simple new three-wave interferometric technique is used to measure, for what is believed to be the first time, the wave front of femtosecond ultrahigh-peak-power pulses carrying a strong B integral B=5.26±0.15 in a single shot. Wave-front distortions of a terawatt-class laser system are measured with good accuracy λ/50 and discussed. These distortions can significantly reduce the focused peak intensity, emphasizing the necessity of implementing adaptive optics in ultrahigh-intensity chirped-pulse amplification lasers.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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