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Opt Express. 2008 Mar 3;16(5):3178-90.

Contrast degradation in a chirped-pulse amplifier due to generation of prepulses by postpulses.

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  • 1Avesta Project Ltd., Solnechnaya 12, 142190, Troitsk, Moscow region, Russia.


Experiment and modeling show that the refractive index nonlinearity can significantly degrade the contrast of a chirped-pulse amplifier seeded with a pulse and a single postpulse. Multiple powerful non-equidistant pre- and postpulses are generated. For a Gaussian pulse and a hat-top beam, an incident postpulse of energy W results in a prepulse of energy 0.58B(2)W, where B is the nonlinear phase (B-integral) of the main pulse. Calculations show that level of satellites due to gain saturation is negligibly small. Experimental results for Ti:Sapphire regenerative and multipass amplifiers and prepulse generation in fused silica agree well with the theory.

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