Abstract

By seeding an optical-field-ionized population-inverted plasma amplifier with the 25th harmonic of an IR laser, we have achieved what we believe to be the first aberration-free laser beam in the soft x-ray spectral range. This laser emits within a cone of 1.34mrad (1e2) at a repetition rate of 10Hz at a central wavelength of 32.8nm. The beam exhibits a circular profile and wavefront distortions as low as λ17. A theoretical analysis of these results shows that this high beam quality is due to spatial filtering of the seed beam by the plasma amplifier aperture.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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