Diffraction characteristics of 10 fs laser pulses passing through an aperture

Jian Chao Li, Hai Feng Zhang, Dennis R. Alexander, David W. Doerr, Nageswara Rao Tadepalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Results are presented on experimental and theoretical work performed to compare diffraction phenomena for ultrashort 10 fs pulses and continuous-wave propagation modes illuminating different-sized pinholes and slits. Results demonstrate that 10 fs pulses do not produce high-frequency diffraction like that produced with continuous-wave illumination. The diffraction through a 1 mm pinhole of temporally stretched pulses obtained by using fused silica plates whose frequency spectrum remains the same is compared with those of 10 fs pulses. The overall diffraction intensity profiles are, however, nearly identical in this case. The simulations of diffraction patterns for 100 fs, 10 fs, and 1 fs incident pulse were compared theoretically for different aperture sizes and frequencies. Calculations indicate that the lack of high-frequency diffraction for the mode-locked case is due to the broadband nature of the ultrashort laser pulses; i.e., the distribution of the frequency contained in the pulse ends up washing out when objects are illuminated with pulses of broad frequency content. The results of this work have important application in biomedical imaging and remote imaging applications, to name only a few.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1304-1310
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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