Advanced methods for the characterization of few-cycle light pulses: a comparison
We discuss and compare four methods for measuring the width and pulse profile of ultrashort pulses. For our comparison, we use stable sub-7 fs pulses from a Ti:sapphire oscillator. Interferometric autocorrelation, spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER), a spatially-encoded variant of SPIDER, and interferometric frequency-resolved optical gating (IFROG) are utilized for characterizing pulses from the oscillator. The methods are found to agree within 5% as far as determination of the pulse width is concerned. However, differences are observed in the satellite structure reconstructed by either method. The current state of the art of measuring ultrashort pulses with these methods is reviewed and current limitations, in particular for characterizing complex pulse shapes, are discussed.
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