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In strong-field physics experiments with ultraintense lasers, a single-shot cross-correlator (SSCC) is essential for fast optimization of the pulse contrast and meaningful comparison with theory for each pulse shot. To simultaneously characterize an ultrashort pulse and its long pedestal, the SSCC device must have both a high resolution and a large temporal window. However, the resolution and window in all kinds of single-shot measurement contradict each other in principle. Here we propose and demonstrate a novel SSCC device with two separate measurement channels: channel-1 for the large-window pedestal measurement has a moderate resolution but a large window, while channel-2 for the ultrashort pulse measurement has a small window but a high resolution; this allows the accurate characterization of the pulse contrast in a single shot. A two-channel SSCC device with a 200-fs resolution and 114-ps window has been developed and tested for its application in ultraintense lasers at 800 nm.
In this paper, we review the status of the multifunctional experimental platform at the National Laboratory of High Power Laser and Physics (NLHPLP). The platform, including the SG-II laser facility, SG-II 9th beam, SG-II upgrade (SG-II UP) facility, and SG-II 5 PW facility, is operational and available for interested scientists studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and a broad range of high-energy-density physics. These facilities can provide important experimental capabilities by combining different pulse widths of nanosecond, picosecond, and femtosecond scales. In addition, the SG-II UP facility, consisting of a single petawatt system and an eight-beam nanosecond system, is introduced including several laser technologies that have been developed to ensure the performance of the facility. Recent developments of the SG-II 5 PW facility are also presented.
The work presented in this paper is a study of output temporal contrast degradation by near-field quality deterioration, such as intensity modulation and wavefront deviation, in a large aperture high power short pulse laser system. A two-step focusing algorithm with a coordinate transform based on the Fresnel approximation in the space domain is used for simulating the output focused by an off-axis parabolic mirror. The temporal contrast degradation by intensity modulation and wavefront deviation is analyzed and the influence of the diameter on the temporal contrast degradation is revealed. The simulation and assumption results based on the parameters of the Shen Guang-II laser system are compared with the online experimental temporal contrast data. The near-field quality deterioration might lead to temporal contrast degradation, hindering higher temporal contrast in large aperture high power short pulse laser systems.
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