Generation and Parametric Amplification of Few‐Cycle Light Pulses at Relativistic Intensities

  • Alexander Kessel

Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxii
  2. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 1-12
  3. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 13-58
  4. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 59-73
  5. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 75-95
  6. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 97-118
  7. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 119-141
  8. Alexander Kessel
    Pages 143-149
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 151-165

About this book


This book reports on the development of a pioneering light source architecture of the so-called Petawatt Field Synthesizer (PFS) system, which is based on short-pulse pumped, optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA), driven by a homemade, 1-ps diode-pumped Yb:YAG. At a few-cycle pulse duration of the amplified pulses, this architecture yields record levels of peak power and temporal contrast, the latter boasting a 100-times faster rise time from the noise level to peak intensity of the pulse compared to conventional laser systems. This allows investigation of the true laser–solid interaction without premature plasma expansion and without lossy pulse cleaning by e.g. plasma mirrors.

The book describes several concepts for the generation of broadband, high-energy and high-contrast seed pulses, as well as the OPCPA development, few-cycle pulse compression and contrast characterization in a concise and insightful manner. The theory chapter serves as an excellent and accessible primer on OPCPA and other nonlinear interactions, while the experimental parts provide an excellent description of the challenges of developing such a novel architecture and some of the innovative solutions to overcome them.


Broadband OPA Broadband OPCPA Supercontinuum Generation Seed Generation Cross-Polarized Wave Generation Cascaded Nonlinear Interactions Optical Parametric Phase Pulse Front Tilt Control High Contrast Laser Pulses

Authors and affiliations

  • Alexander Kessel
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Attosecond PhysicsMax-Planck-Institute for Quantum OpticsGarching, BavariaGermany

Bibliographic information

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