Abstract

We report on the first generation of high-contrast, 164 fs duration pulses from the laser system POLARIS reaching focused peak intensities in excess of 2×1020W/cm2. To our knowledge, this is the highest peak intensity reported so far that has been achieved with a diode-pumped, solid-state laser. Several passive contrast enhancement techniques have been specially developed and implemented, achieving a relative prepulse intensity smaller than 108 at t=30ps before the main pulse. Furthermore a closed-loop adaptive-optics system has been installed. Together with angular chirp compensation, this method has led to a significant reduction of the focal spot size and an increase of the peak intensity.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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