Adaptive pulse compression for transform-limited 15-fs high-energy pulse generation
Backus, S., author
Kapteyn, H. C., author
Murnane, M. M., author
Bartels, R., author
Zeek, E., author
Optical Society of America, publisher
We demonstrate the use of a deformable-mirror pulse shaper, combined with an evolutionary optimization algorithm, to correct high-order residual phase aberrations in a 1-mJ, 1-kHz, 15-fs laser amplifier. Frequency resolved optical gating measurements reveal that the output pulse duration of 15.2 fs is within our measurement error of the theoretical transform limit. This technique significantly reduces the pulse duration and the temporal prepulse energy of the pulse while increasing the peak intensity by 26%. It is demonstrated, for what is believed to be the first time, that the problem of pedestals in laser amplifiers can be addressed by spectral-domain correction.