, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 165-170
Date: 15 Dec 2004

Dispersion control of a pulse stretcher– compressor system with two-dimensional spectral interferometry

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The frequency dependence of the group delay of both a pulse stretcher and a stretcher–compressor system of a chirped pulse amplification laser is determined with a two-dimensional extension of a spectral interferometric method called the stationary phase point method. The 800-nm, 15-fs probe pulse from a Ti:S oscillator propagates through the stretcher or the stretcher–compressor system. The reference pulse is one of the subsequent oscillator pulses but passes the system and interferes with the probe pulse; hence, a Mach–Zehnder-type interferometer is formed. The shape of the spectrally resolved interference fringes is peculiar to the amount and sign of the relative dispersion properties of the pulses. Group-delay dispersion is obtained from the observation of the position of the stationary phase point in spectrally resolved interferograms at different time delays. This simple method allows for an almost complete and fast alignment of the stretcher–compressor system from scratch until the final adjustments.