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High energy diode pumped Yb:doped crystal amplifiers for ultrashort OPCPA

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Diode pumped Yb-doped based ultrafast laser systems are of great interest either as direct high intensity systems or as pump sources for OPCPA based systems operating in the extremely short pulse duration regime. Yb-doped tungstates (Yb:KGW, Yb:KYW, Yb:KLuW) are well known both for their high gain and broad bandwidth and seem to be the right material choice towards a medium energy level amplification of broad bandwidth pulses. However, their limited energy storage capacity has so far restricted their application to relatively low energy setups [1]. Yb:CaF2 on the other hand is a very promising material mainly because of its broad gain bandwidth and high energy storage capacity [2]. The main limitation in this case is the very high saturation fluence of Yb:CaF2, resulting in low gain amplifiers or reduced energy extraction efficiencies. Ideally Yb:CaF2 could be used in the final energetic stages of an amplification chain seeded by a sufficiently high energy, broadband signal to fully exploit its advantages.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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