Temporal contrast in Ti:sapphire lasers: Characterization and control

Marc Nantel, Jiro Itatani, An Chun Tien, Jérôme Faure, Daniel Kaplan, Marcel Bouvier, Takashi Buma, Paul Van Rompay, John Nees, Peter P. Pronko, Donald Umstadter, Gérard A. Mourou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


As ultrafast lasers achieve ever higher focused intensities on target, the problem of ensuring a clean laser-solid interaction becomes more pressing. In this paper, we give concrete examples of the deleterious effects of low-contrast interactions, and address the problem of subpicosecond laser intensity contrast ratio on both characterization and control fronts. We present the new technique of high-dynamic-range plasma-shuttered streak camera contrast measurement, as well as two efficient and relatively inexpensive ways of improving the contrast of short pulse lasers without sacrificing on the output energy: a double-pass Pockels cell (PC), and clean high-energy-pulse seeding of the regenerative amplifier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-458
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Amplified spontaneous emission
  • Chirped-pulse amplification
  • Intensity contrast ratio
  • Pulse cleaning
  • Terawatt lasers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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