Double-passed, high-energy quasi-phase-matched optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier

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Quasi-phase-matched (QPM) optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) in periodically poled materials such as periodically poled LiNbO{sub 3} (PPLN) and periodically poled KTiOPO{sub 4} (PPKTP) has been shown to exhibit advantages over the OPCPA in bulk nonlinear crystals. [GHH98, RPN02] The use of the maximum material nonlinear coefficient results in ultra-high gain with low pump peak power. Furthermore, propagation of signal, pump, and idler beams along one of the crystal principal axes eliminates the birefringent walk-off, reduces angular sensitivity, and improves beam quality. Relatively high level of parasitic parametric fluorescence (PF) in QPM OPCPA represents an impediment for simple, single-stage, high-gain ... continued below

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Jovanovic, I; Forget, N; Brown, C G; Ebbers, C A; Blanc, C L & Barty, C J September 19, 2005.

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Quasi-phase-matched (QPM) optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification (OPCPA) in periodically poled materials such as periodically poled LiNbO{sub 3} (PPLN) and periodically poled KTiOPO{sub 4} (PPKTP) has been shown to exhibit advantages over the OPCPA in bulk nonlinear crystals. [GHH98, RPN02] The use of the maximum material nonlinear coefficient results in ultra-high gain with low pump peak power. Furthermore, propagation of signal, pump, and idler beams along one of the crystal principal axes eliminates the birefringent walk-off, reduces angular sensitivity, and improves beam quality. Relatively high level of parasitic parametric fluorescence (PF) in QPM OPCPA represents an impediment for simple, single-stage, high-gain amplification of optical pulses from nJ to mJ energies. PF in QPM is increased when compared to PF in critical phase matching in bulk crystals as a result of broader angular acceptance of the nonlinear conversion process. PF reduces prepulse contrast and conversion efficiency by competition with the signal pulse for pump pulse energy. Previous experiments with QPM OPCPA have thus resulted in pulse energies limited to tens of {mu}J. [JSE03] Optical parametric amplification of a narrowband signal pulse in PPKTP utilizing two pump beams has been demonstrated at a mJ-level, [FPK03] but the conversion efficiency has been limited by low energy extraction of pump pulse in the first pass of amplification. Additionally, narrow spectral bandwidth was the result of operation far from signal-idler degeneracy. Here we present a novel double-pass, broad-bandwidth QPM OPCPA. 1.2 mJ of amplified signal energy is produced in a single PPKTP crystal utilizing a single 24-mJ pump pulse from a commercial pump laser. [JFE05] To our knowledge, this is the highest energy demonstrated in QPM OPCPA. Double-passed QPM OPCPA exhibits high gain (> 3 x 10{sup 6}), high prepulse contrast (> 3 x 10{sup 7}), high energy stability (3% rms), and excellent beam quality. We additionally present a simple extension of QPM OPCPA to cascaded-optical parametric amplification (COPA), [WJB02] resulting in, in principle, infinite prepulse contrast. This amplifier is highly suitable for a high-gain section of a high-energy OPCPA system which has previously employed two or more crystals and higher pump energies, or a stand-alone, high-contrast preamplifier for a petawatt-class Nd:glass short-pulse laser. OPCPA front end systems for petawatt-class lasers are now used or planned at numerous laser facilities [OPC05] and may benefit from utilization of this type of system.

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  • Presented at: Joint Conference on Ultrafast Optics V and Applications of High Field and Shortwavelength Sources XI, Nara, Japan, Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2005

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  • Report No.: UCRL-PROC-215623
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 885130
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc876079

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  • September 19, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 9, 2016, 3:48 p.m.

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Jovanovic, I; Forget, N; Brown, C G; Ebbers, C A; Blanc, C L & Barty, C J. Double-passed, high-energy quasi-phase-matched optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier, article, September 19, 2005; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc876079/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.