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Temporal contrast control at the PHELIX petawatt laser facility by means of tunable sub-picosecond optical parametric amplification

: Wagner, F.; João, C.P.; Fils, J.; Gottschall, T.; Hein, J.; Körner, J.; Limpert, J.; Roth, M.; Stöhlker, T.; Bagnoud, V.


Applied Physics. B 116 (2014), No.2, pp.429-435
ISSN: 0340-3793
ISSN: 0721-7269
ISSN: 0946-2171
ISSN: 1432-0649
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IOF ()
amplified spontaneous emissions; amplifier modules; chirped pulse amplification systems; gain reduction; optical parametric amplification; orders of magnitude; pre amplifier modules; temporal contrast

We report on the development of a preamplifier module for temporal contrast enhancement and control at petawatt-class lasers. The module is based on an ultrafast optical parametric amplifier (uOPA), which produces temporally clean pulses at the 60 ?J level for seeding a chirped pulse amplification (CPA) system, namely the petawatt facility PHELIX. The amplifier module allows for gain reduction in the following amplifiers, resulting in an attenuation of amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) by more than 4 orders of magnitude. Since the ASE of a CPA system linearly depends on the seeding energy, we were able to demonstrate a continuous variation of the temporal contrast by tuning the gain of the uOPA