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22 W average power multiterawatt femtosecond laser chain enabling 1019 W/cm2 at 100 Hz

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Abstract

We measure the wavefront distortions of a high peak power ultrashort (23 fs) laser system under high average power load. After 6 min—100 Hz operation of the laser at full average power (> 22 W after compression), the thermally induced wavefront distortions reach a steady state and the far-field profile of the laser beam no longer changes. By means of a deformable mirror located after the vacuum compressor, we apply a static pre-compensation to correct those aberrations allowing us to demonstrate a dramatic improvement of the far-field profile at 100 Hz with the reduction of the residual wavefront distortions below λ/16 before focusing. The applied technique provides 100 Hz operation of the femtosecond laser chain with stable pulse characteristics, corresponding to peak intensity above 1019 W/cm2 and average power of 19 W on target, which enables the study of relativistic optics at high repetition rate using a moderate f-number focusing optics (f/4.5).

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Change history

  • 10 February 2020

    In the original publication, we erroneously reported that the substrate of the diffraction gratings used in the experiments was made of low expansion glass (zerodur). In fact, the substrate of the diffraction gratings was made of Pyrex, which does not have the same thermomechanical properties as zerodur. This is an important correction to mention as the thermally induced wavefront distortions depend on the thermomechanical properties of the substrate.

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Acknowledgements

The research leading to these results has received funding from LASERLAB-EUROPE (grant agreement no. 654148, European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme). The financial support of European Community, Ministry of Research and High Education, Region Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Department of Bouches-du-Rhône, City of Marseille, CNRS, and Aix-Marseille University is gratefully acknowledged for funding ASUR platform.

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Correspondence to R. Clady.

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Clady, R., Azamoum, Y., Charmasson, L. et al. 22 W average power multiterawatt femtosecond laser chain enabling 1019 W/cm2 at 100 Hz. Appl. Phys. B 124, 89 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00340-018-6958-1

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