We present an approach to generate paraxial laser beams with arbitrary spatial distribution in the femtosecond time regime. The proposed technique is based upon a pair of volume phase holographic gratings working in parallel arrangement. It exploits the spatial coherence properties of the incoming laser beam in a compact and robust setup that mitigates angular and spatial chirp. The gratings were recorded in a photopolymerizable glass with a high optical damage threshold and a large optical throughput. Setup performance is studied and experimentally demonstrated by generating Laguerre–Gaussian femtosecond pulses.
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