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ELFIE - Thin Film Compression for Long Pulses (TFC-LP) (J. Wheeler)

This proposal seeks to build on previous experience in order to demonstrate a novel method based on thin films for the compression of high-energy, short pulse laser systems. Compressing this class of lasers is a challenge that promises to open up an entirely new realm of fundamental and applied physics both directly and through the ultra-relativistic, plasma processes that these laser pulses are capable of driving. The direct application of a thin film compressor permits the easy introduction within already existing Joule-level, picosecond pulse laser facilities and allows for rapid extension to shorter pulse options while efficiently maintaining the pulse energy and significantly increased peak intensities. This is accomplished through self-phase modulation of the unfocused beam within a thin transparent optical film that broadens the available bandwidth while allowing for dispersion management through chirped mirrors to further compress the resultant pulse. The concept as originally proposed intended to post-compress high-intensity, sub-50 fs ultrafast pulses toward the fundamental single-cycle pulse duration. This experiment seeks to be a proof-of-principle study for applying a thin film compression scheme to pulses that fall between the 100 fs to ps range in pulse duration.

ELFIE - S22-24 / 2018