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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 19 — Sep. 14, 2009
  • pp: 17070–17081

Evolution of the frequency chirp of Gaussian pulses and beams when passing through a pulse compressor

Derong Li, Xiaohua Lv, Pamela Bowlan, Rui Du, Shaoqun Zeng, and Qingming Luo  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 19, pp. 17070-17081 (2009)

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The evolution of the frequency chirp of a laser pulse inside a classical pulse compressor is very different for plane waves and Gaussian beams, although after propagating through the last (4th) dispersive element, the two models give the same results. In this paper, we have analyzed the evolution of the frequency chirp of Gaussian pulses and beams using a method which directly obtains the spectral phase acquired by the compressor. We found the spatiotemporal couplings in the phase to be the fundamental reason for the difference in the frequency chirp acquired by a Gaussian beam and a plane wave. When the Gaussian beam propagates, an additional frequency chirp will be introduced if any spatiotemporal couplings (i.e. angular dispersion, spatial chirp or pulse front tilt) are present. However, if there are no couplings present, the chirp of the Gaussian beam is the same as that of a plane wave. When the Gaussian beam is well collimated, the introduced frequency chirp predicted by the plane wave and Gaussian beam models are in closer agreement. This work improves our understanding of pulse compressors and should be helpful for optimizing dispersion compensation schemes in many applications of femtosecond laser pulses.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(260.2030) Physical optics : Dispersion
(320.0320) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast optics
(320.5520) Ultrafast optics : Pulse compression

ToC Category:
Ultrafast Optics

Original Manuscript: June 1, 2009
Revised Manuscript: September 4, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: September 5, 2009
Published: September 10, 2009

Derong Li, Xiaohua Lv, Pamela Bowlan, Rui Du, Shaoqun Zeng, and Qingming Luo, "Evolution of the frequency chirp of Gaussian pulses and beams when passing through a pulse compressor," Opt. Express 17, 17070-17081 (2009)

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