Abstract

We modify a conventional picosecond dye-amplifier system to achieve maximum brightness for 100-fs pulses derived from a titanium–sapphire oscillator. We obtain near transform-limited 4-GW pulses by using efficient chirped-pulse amplification and compression based on a prism-pair stretcher and a glass-block compressor. Good beam quality and minimum beam divergence are obtained with a Bethune cell final amplifier. The system is shown to be capable of generating beam brightness in excess of 2 × 107 W cm−2 sr−1, within a factor of 2 of that expected for a diffraction-limited beam.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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