Abstract

The temporal shape (rise time, fall time, skewness) of 50–200-fs Ti:sapphire laser pulses has been controlled by appropriate adjustment of a grating-pair compressor. It was found that the skewness of the laser pulse envelope is particularly sensitive to the third-order component of the spectral phase. Introducing such a third-order phase offset by detuning the grating pair relative to the optimum pulse compression settings allowed the generation of skewed pulses. As an example of an application, these skewed pulses were used to optimize a laser-plasma electron accelerator.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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