Author Affiliations
1 Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
2 GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
3 Laboratoire pour l’Utilisation des Lasers Intenses, CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
4 Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany
5 Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
6 Helmholtz-Institut Jena, Jena, Germany
We report on the development of an ultrafast optical parametric amplifier front-end for the Petawatt High Energy Laser for heavy Ion eXperiments (PHELIX) and the Petawatt ENergy-Efficient Laser for Optical Plasma Experiments (PEnELOPE) facilities. This front-end delivers broadband and stable amplification up to 1 mJ per pulse while maintaining a high beam quality. Its implementation at PHELIX allowed one to bypass the front-end amplifier, which is known to be a source of pre-pulses. With the bypass, an amplified spontaneous emission contrast of $4.9\times {10}^{-13}$ and a pre-pulse contrast of $6.2\times {10}^{-11}$ could be realized. Due to its high stability, high beam quality and its versatile pump amplifier, the system offers an alternative for high-gain regenerative amplifiers in the front-end of various laser systems.
high-intensity laser temporal laser contrast ultrafast optical parametric amplification 
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
2023, 11(4): 04000e48
Author Affiliations
1 GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Darmstadt, Germany
2 Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany
3 Helmholtz-Institut Jena, Jena, Germany
In this work, we propose and verify experimentally a model that describes the concomitant influence of the beam size and optical roughness on the temporal contrast of optical pulses passing through a pulse stretcher in chirped-pulse amplification laser systems. We develop an analytical model that is capable of predicting the rising edge caused by the reflection from an optical element in a pulse stretcher, based on the power spectral density of the surface and the spatial beam profile on the surface. In an experimental campaign, we characterize the temporal contrast of a laser pulse that passed through either a folded or an unfolded stretcher design and compare these results with the analytical model. By varying the beam size for both setups, we verify that optical elements in the near- and the far-field act opposed to each with respect to the temporal contrast and that the rising edge caused by a surface benefits from a larger spatial beam size on that surface.
chirped-pulse amplification laser stretcher temporal contrast 
High Power Laser Science and Engineering
2022, 10(6): 06000e34

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