Abstract

We report on the compression of intense ultrashort laser pulses for the purpose of producing few-cycle optical pulses at the multimillijoule level by using a planar waveguide (PWG). The PWG is composed of two parallel glass slabs separated by a gap of 100μm and mounted in a gas chamber filled with a noble gas. In comparison with the conventional hollow-fiber-based pulse compression technique, the use of a PWG enables the injection of high-energy ultrashort pulses, because the input laser beam is confined only in the lateral direction perpendicular to the waveguide plane. Using this technique, we demonstrate the generation of 12fs, 2mJ laser pulses in an argon-filled PWG.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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