Optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) is currently one of the leading techniques for the generation of ultra-powerful laser pulses, from the multi-terawatt to the petawatt range, with extremely high peak intensities. A properly designed OPCPA setup is able to provide gain over bandwidths extending hundreds of nanometers in the visible and near-infrared, allowing the generation of high-quality, energetic, few-cycle pulses. In this paper we describe the design and performance of a compact laser amplifier that makes use of noncollinear, ultrabroadband amplification in the nonlinear crystal yttrium-calcium oxyborate (YCOB). The pump and the supercontinuum seed pulses are generated from a common diode-pumped amplifier, ensuring their optical synchronization. This laser will be used as a source of ultrashort (~20 fs), energetic (~20 mJ), tunable pulses in the near infrared.
In this work we perform a simulation study for yttrium calcium oxyborate (YCOB) as the nonlinear medium for optical
parametric amplification. These results will be used to design a new large bandwidth, 10 Hz, OPCPA stage at the
Laboratory for Intense Lasers at IST, pumped by an ytterbium-based amplifier and seeded by a white light continuum.
Different regimes are tested to assess the scalability of the material
We describe the design and implementation study of a high dynamic range, third order contrast-ratio measurement
diagnostic for a high power laser chain. The device, known as Optical Parametric Amplification Correlator (OPAC) is
based on degenerate three-wave mixing in a nonlinear crystal, it is self-referencing and compact. By measuring the idler
pulse with a slow detector and a set of calibrated filters, a dynamic range of up to 10<sup>10</sup> is achievable. The pulse contrast
is to be characterized at the mJ-level, 10 Hz, Ti:sapphire pre-amplifier stage, in a time window of 100 ps.