Développement d'une source laser ultra-brève, stabilisée en phase et à haut contraste, pour l'optique relativiste haute cadence

Abstract : Laser-plasma interaction at high intensities (I " 1015 W/cm2) with ultra-short pulses ( t " 100 fs) is a booming research domain as it offers the opportunity to study increasingly short phenomena, comprised under the trivial name " attosecond science ". Laser-plasma interaction also bears the promise to achieve new light sources for the generation of energetic particle beams and X-rays. Our approach focuses on the generation of attosecond pulses from plasma mirrors using few-cycle laser pulses ( 5 fs at 800 nm) at high repetition rate (1 kHz) and with fine control of laser parameters. The generation and spatio-temporal control of high-order harmonics emission in the non-relativistic regime has recently been demosntrated by our group. The following objective is to reach the relativistic regime thanks to higher intensities on target. This thesis pursued the goals of improving the existing laser chain performances in termes of energy and temporal contrast, while preserving, at least, all the other key parameters. Meeting these requirements was achieved while developing a laser architecture based on chirped-pulse amplification (CPA) delivering 5 mJ, 5 fs pulses at 1 kHz, with a temporal contrast C = 1011 and an absolute phase (CEP) stabilized down to 200 mrad rms. Contrast improvement by cross-polarized wave (XPW) generation is at the centre of this dissertation. An extensive study of the mechanism was carried out. It allowed to confront experimental results and theoretical developments in " extremes " regimes such as the generation at very high efficiency and few-cycle pulse filtering. Besides, a new energy-scalable scheme was proposed to filter efficiently (20%) a wide range of pulse energies (from 100 μJ to 10 mJ). Pulse compression by a factor larger than two was also demonstrated. The new laser chain includes such filter in a double-CPA configuration delivering pulses of 10 mJ, 20 fs, C = 1011 and CEP = 200 mrad rms. A detailed study was carried out to develop a new stretcher/compressor scheme achieving highly stretched pulses (50 ps) while remaining compact to preserve CEP stability. The chosen configuration consists of a bulk stretcher, an acousto-optic programmable dispersive filter and a grisms compressor. The manuscript finally presents the perspectives of post-compression in a rare-gas filled hollow-core fibre in order to achieve pulses of 5 mJ, 5 fs, C = 1011, CEP = 200 mrad rms at 1 kHz.
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Submitted on : Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 6:01:32 PM
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A. Ricci. Développement d'une source laser ultra-brève, stabilisée en phase et à haut contraste, pour l'optique relativiste haute cadence. Optique [physics.optics]. Ecole Polytechnique X, 2013. Français. ⟨pastel-00841459⟩

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