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500 MW peak power degenerated optical parametric amplifier delivering 52 fs pulses at 97 kHz repetition rate
We present a high peak power degenerated parametric amplifier operating at 1030 nm and 97 kHz repetition rate. Pulses of a state-of-the art fiber chirped-pulse amplification (FCPA) system with 840 fs pulse duration and 410 mu J pulse energy are used as pump and seed source for a two stage optical parametric amplifier. Additional spectral broadening of the seed signal in a photonic crystal fiber creates enough bandwidth for ultrashort pulse generation. Subsequent amplification of the broadband seed signal in two 1 mm BBO crystals results in 41 mu J output pulse energy. Compression in a SF 11 prism compressor yields 37 mu J pulses as short as 52 fs. Thus, pulse shortening of more than one order of magnitude is achieved. Further scaling in terms of average power and pulse energy seems possible and will be discussed, since both concepts involved, the fiber laser and the parametric amplifier have the reputation to be immune against thermo-optical effects.