Physics of our days

Nonlinear compression of high-power laser pulses: compression after compressor approach

 a,  a,  b
a Federal Research Center Institute of Applied Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Ulyanova 46, Nizhny Novgorod, 603000, Russian Federation
b International Center for Zetta-Exawatt Science and Technology, Route de Saclay, Palaiseau, F-91128, France

The peak power of present-day lasers is limited by the pulse energy that the diffraction gratings of an optical compressor can withstand. A promising method to overcome this limitation is reviewed: the pulse power is increased due to shortening its duration rather than enhancing pulse energy. It is of importance that the pulse is shortened after passing a compressor (Compression after Compressor Approach (CafCA)). To this end, the pulse spectrum is stretched as a result of self-phase modulation, and the pulse is compressed then by dispersion mirrors. Application of this idea known since the 1960s to lasers whose power is over 1 TW has been restrained until recently by a number of physical problems. These problems and possible ways of their solution are discussed in detail. The experimental results obtained over the past few years demonstrate the efficiency of the technique (compression by a factor of 5) in the range up to 250 TW. CafCA features three undisputed merits: simplicity and low cost, negligible pulse-energy loss, and applicability to any high-power laser.

Keywords: ultrahigh power femtosecond lasers, phase self-modulation, nonlinear laser pulse compression, small-scale self-focusing
PACS: 42.55.−f, 42.65.Jx, 42.65.Rc (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.2019.05.038564
Citation: Khazanov E A, Mironov S Yu, Mourou G "Nonlinear compression of high-power laser pulses: compression after compressor approach" Phys. Usp. 62 1096–1124 (2019)
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Received: 12th, May 2019, 22nd, May 2019

Оригинал: Хазанов Е А, Миронов С Ю, Муру Ж «Нелинейное сжатие сверхмощных лазерных импульсов: компрессия после компрессора» УФН 189 1173–1200 (2019); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.2019.05.038564

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