Abstract

Polarization smoothing (PS) is a key approach to suppress laser plasma instabilities (LPI) in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments. Here, we propose a liquid crystal (LC) PS element to realize single beam smoothing and demonstrate its smoothing effect, in principle, with a 2×2 LC polarization checkerboard, which reduces the laser intensity variation in the focal spot to 78.4%. LC PS elements, which have potential applications in high-power ICF laser drivers, have many advantages because they are easy to fabricate, cost effective, flexible, and large.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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