We demonstrated a high-pulse energy, femtosecond-pulse source based on optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification. We successfully amplified 1-μm broadband oscillator pulses to 31 mJ and recompressed them to 310-fs pulse duration, at a 10-Hz repetition rate. The gain in our system is 6 × 10<sup>7</sup>, achieved by the single passing of only 40 mm of gain material pumped by a commercial <i>Q</i>-switched Nd:YAG laser. This relatively simple system replaces a more complex Ti:sapphire regenerative-amplifier-based chirped-pulse amplification system. Numerous features in design and performance of optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifiers make them a preferred alternative to regenerative amplifiers based on Ti:sapphire in the front end of high-peak-power lasers.
© 2002 Optical Society of America
Igor Jovanovic, Brian J. Comaskey, Christopher A. Ebbers, Randal A. Bonner, Deanna M. Pennington, and Edward C. Morse, "Optical Parametric Chirped-Pulse Amplifier as an Alternative to Ti:Sapphire Regenerative Amplifiers," Appl. Opt. 41, 2923-2929 (2002)