Abstract

We report a high-contrast, high-intensity Ti:sapphire chirped-pulse amplification system that incorporates a nonlinear preamplifier based on optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA). By cooling the Ti:sapphire crystal in the final amplifier down to 77K, the chirped-pulses are amplified to 2.9J at a 10Hz repetition rate without a thermal lensing effect. Pulse compression down to 19fs duration obtained after amplification indicates a peak power of 80TW. With the OPCPA, the temporal contrast is significantly improved to better than 7×109 in a few picoseconds interval prior to the main laser pulse.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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