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The impact of spectral modulations of the contrast of pulses of nonlinear chirped-pulse amplification systems

: Schimpf, D.N.; Seise, E.; Limpert, J.; Tünnermann, A.

Postprint (4.9 MByte; PDF; )

Optics Express 16 (2008), Nr.14, S.10664-10674
ISSN: 1094-4087
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IOF ()
self-phase modulation; optical pulses; energy; laser; generation; amplifier

A detrimental pulse distortion mechanism inherent to nonlinear chirped-pulse amplification systems is revealed and analyzed. When seeding the nonlinear amplification stage with pulses possessing weak side-pulses, the Kerr-nonlinearity causes a transfer of energy from the main pulse to side pulses. The resulting decrease in pulse contrast is determined by the accumulated nonlinear phase-shift (i.e., the B-integral) and the initial pulse-contrast. The energy transfer can be described by Bessel-functions. Thus, applications relying on a high pulse-contrast demand a low B-integral of the amplification system and a master-oscillator that exhibits an excellent pulse-contrast. In particular, nonlinear fiber CPA-systems operated at B-integrals far beyond p have to be revised in this context.