High-energy ultrashort laser pulse compression in hollow planar waveguides

Laboratoire d'Optique Appliquée, CNRS UMR 7639, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Techniques Avancées-Ecole Polytechnique, F-91761 Palaiseau CEDEX, France.
Optics Letters (Impact Factor: 3.29). 06/2009; 34(9):1462-4. DOI: 10.1364/OL.34.001462
Source: PubMed


We demonstrate compression of high-energy ultrashort laser pulses by nonlinear propagation inside gas-filled planar hollow waveguides. We adjust the input beam size along the nonguided dimension of the planar waveguide to restrain the intensity below photoionization, while the relatively long range guided propagation yields significant self-phase modulation and spectral broadening. We compare the compression in different noble gases and obtain 13.6 fs duration with output pulse energy of 8.1 mJ in argon and 11.5 fs duration with 7.6 mJ energy in krypton. The broadened spectra at the output of the waveguide are uniform over more than 70% of the total pulse energy. Shorter duration could be obtained at the expense of the introduction of spatial structure in the beam (and eventual formation of filaments) resulting from small-scale self-focusing in the nonguided direction.

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    • "All this is not surprising because a flared taper was proved to enable high beam quality and high power throughput simultaneously [15]. Note that the deteriorative process developed in the free dimension is unavoidable for all waveguide-based highenergy pulse compressions [9] [10]. The complete explanation of it should be within the context of the generalized (3+1)D nonlinear Schrödinger equation including the higher-order dispersion and nonlinearity effects such as the third-order dispersion, plasma defocusing, and multiphoton ionization [21]. "
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