Spatial optimization of filaments
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We demonstrate the spatial homogenization of intense laser pulses by adaptive minimization of spatial chirp of the spectrally broadened output pulses of a filament. A liquid-crystal-based two-dimensional spatial light modulator is used to control the spatial phase of the driver pulse. An evolutionary algorithm finds the optimal spatial laser phase distribution that introduces minimal distortions during filamentation and enhances the beam quality of the output pulse. A homogeneous intensity distribution favours efficient temporal compression close to the bandwidth limit without the need for spatial filtering after the filament.
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