Pulse Compression Gratings

  • Introduction

    Following the recent trends, the performance of ultra-short pulsed lasers, and thus the output energy, increases steadily. Dielectric pulse compression gratings in transmission and reflection become highly efficient and durable under high laser power densities and therefore well-suited for recent chirped pulse amplification (CPA) setups.

    CPA with the mandatory pulse compression is a technique, which widens the possibility of power scaling for ultra-short laser pulses. This technique amplifies stretched laser pulses above the damage threshold limits of the originally laser pulse into higher energy levels. Their physical characteristic of the negative dispersion of optical diffraction gratings makes them the most-suitable optical components for pulse compression.

    These gratings are made of high-purity monolithic fused silica, ideal for certain laser wavelengths. Those lasers are used, for instance, in laser material processing, the semiconductor industry and in ophthalmology for refractive cornea correction.

    ZEISS offers homogenous pulse compression gratings with high laser inducted damage threshold (LIDT) and variable groove densities. These high-efficiency gratings can be produced up to a size of 240 x 240 mm with homogeneous grating patterns; typical line densities for pulse compression applications are ranging between 1,000 and 2,500 lines per mm. Beside the flat substrate option customers can liberally choose between concave, convex and freeform substrates.

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