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We report on the design and characterization of the plasma mirror system installed on the J-KAREN-P laser at the Kansai Photon Science Institute, National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology. The reflectivity of the single plasma mirror system exceeded 80%. In addition, the temporal contrast was improved by two orders of magnitude at 1 ps before the main pulse. Furthermore, the laser near-field spatial distribution after the plasma mirror was kept constant at plasma mirror fluence of less than 100 kJ/cm2. We also present the results of investigating the difference and the fluctuation in energy, pulse width and pointing stability with and without the plasma mirror system.
We have experimentally improved the temporal contrast of the petawatt J-KAREN-P laser facility. We have investigated how the generation of pre-pulses by post-pulses changes due to the temporal overlap between the stretched pulse and the post-pulse in a chirped-pulse amplification system. We have shown that the time at which the pre-pulse is generated by the post-pulse and its shape are related to the time difference between the stretched main pulse and the post-pulse. With this investigation, we have found and identified the origins of the pre-pulses and have demonstrated the removal of most pre-pulses by eliminating the post-pulse with wedged optics. We have also demonstrated the impact of stretcher optics on the picosecond pedestal. We have realized orders of magnitude enhancement of the pedestal by improving the optical quality of a key component in the stretcher.
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