Techniques for the characterization of sub-10-fs optical pulses: a comparison
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Several methods have been proposed for the phase and amplitude characterization of sub-10-fs pulses with nJ energies. An overview of these techniques is presented, with a focus on the comparison of second-harmonic generation frequency-resolved optical gating (SHG-FROG) and spectral phase interferometry for direct electric-field reconstruction (SPIDER). We describe a collinear FROG variant based on type-II phase-matching that completely avoids the geometrical blurring artifact and use both this and SPIDER for the characterization of sub-10-fs Ti:sapphire laser pulses. The results of both methods are compared in an extensive statistical analysis. From this first direct experimental comparison of FROG and SPIDER, guidelines for accurate measurements of sub-10-fs pulses are derived. We point out limitations of both methods for pulses in this ultrashort pulse regime.