Abstract

We propose a hollow tapered planar waveguide for compression of high-energy ultrashort laser pulses. Direct measurements suggest that it seems to find a very good trade-off among the energy throughput, the beam focusability, and the pulse compressibility. With a Ti:sapphire laser pulse of 12.0mJ and 40fs, our experiment produces an output pulse of 9.4fs duration with energy 9.1mJ (transverse magnetic mode) or 10.0mJ (transverse electric mode) in argon, each exhibiting a nice spatial mode. To evaluate such a tapered waveguide, the linear wave propagation theory and the solution to its complex propagation constant are also presented.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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