Laser and Particle Beams

On the temporal contrast of high intensity femtosecond laser pulses a

K.  OSVAY  a1 a2 c1 , M.  CSATÁRI  a1 a3 , I.N.  ROSS  a3 , A.  PERSSON  a2 and C.-G.  WAHLSTRÖM  a2
a1 Department of Optics and Quantum Electronics, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
a2 Department of Physics, Lund Institute of Technology, Lund, Sweden
a3 Central Laser Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton, Didcot, U.K.

Article author query
osvay k   [Google Scholar] 
csatari 2m   [Google Scholar] 
ross in   [Google Scholar] 
persson a   [Google Scholar] 
wahlstrom c-   [Google Scholar] 


The temporal contrast is classified into two main regimes, the nanosecond-scale and the picosecond-scale contrast prior to the main pulse. The Lund terawatt laser system is shown to be improved on the nano- and picosecond-scale by a factor of 10 and 50, respectively, when it was optimized for contrast but not for energy. Calculations are also presented to emphasize the role of angular dispersion on the picosecond contrast. Finally we show a compromise between the duration and contrast of femtosecond laser pulses amplified in an optical parametric (chirped pulse) amplifier.

(Received November 30 2004)
(Accepted December 21 2004)

Key Words: High intensity lasers; Optical parametric amplification; Pulse compression; Temporal contrast.

c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Karoly Osvay, Department of Optics and Quantum Electronics, University of Szeged, P.O. Box 406, Szeged 6701, Hungary. Email:


a This paper was presented at the 28th ECLIM conference in Rome, Italy.