The optical elements of femtosecond high peak power lasers have to fulfill more and more strict requirements in order to support pulses with high intensity and broad spectrum. In most cases chirped pulse amplification scheme is used to generate high peak power ultrashort laser pulses, where a very precise control of spectral intensity and spectral phase is required in reaching transform-limited temporal shape at the output. In the case of few cycle regime, the conventional bulk glass, prism-, grating- and their combination based compressors are not sufficient anymore, due to undesirable nonlinear effects in their material and proneness to optical damages. The chirped mirrors are also commonly used to complete the compression after a beam transport system just before the target. Moreover, the manufacturing technology requires quality checks right after production and over the lifetime of the mirror as well, since undesired deposition on the surface can lead alteration from the designed value over a large part of the aperture. For the high harmonic generation, polarization gating technology is used to generate single attosecond pulses . In this case the pulse to be compressed has various polarization state falling to the chirped mirrors. For this reason, it is crucial to measure the dispersion of the mirrors for the different polarization states.
In this presentation we demonstrate a simple technique to measure the dispersion of arbitrary mirror at angles of incidence from 0 to 55 degree, even for a 12” optics. A large aperture 4” mirror has been scanned over with micrometer accuracy and the dispersion property through the surface has been investigated with a stable interference fringes in that robust geometry. We used Spectrally Resolved Interferometry, which is based on a Michaelson interferometer and a combined visible and infrared spectrometer. Tungsten halogen lamp with 10 mW coupled optical power was used as a white-light source so with the selected spectrometer we could investigate over the 500-1300 nm spectral range. We also measured the mirrors with broadband oscillator pulses, and we found that the dispersion was the same for both light source. Group Delay Dispersion was obtained with a ±2 fs^2 accuracy from the Fourier Transform method of the interference fringes. Using an adjunct mirror, we made possible to change continuously the angle of incidence at the chirped mirror within 3 and 55°. On the input part of the interferometer we placed a wire-grid polarizer, and sensitivity of the chirp mirrors to the polarization state have been measured at different incidence angles. To present the flexibility of the device we scanned two different compressor mirrors with +100 fs^2 and -500 fs^2 at the 800 nm central wavelength. We separately developed an optical arrangement to detect Group Delay shift between s and p polarization reflections of large aperture chirped compressor mirrors and we found that it’s below the detection limit, so further investigation will be necessary.
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